October 8, 2018
At the BOC meeting on September 10, 2018, Comm. Pennamon brought up employee health insurance. He said it was “his thinking” and that “he talked” to all the Constitutional Officers about the employee health insurance premiums. You can hear him on this tape (which sounds a little distorted due to the county recorder):
During the budget process, the BOC agreed to increase the employees’ health insurance costs because of the big premium increases the county encountered. They had decided a single employee would have to pay $60 per month instead of $30, and an employee with family coverage would have to pay $536.88 per month instead of $407.34 per month.
Pennamon argued that even though the employees had just gotten 3% raises, they should not have to pay the increased health insurance premiums. Commissioner Luke was against this idea due to the additional increase in cost –$74,968 that was not in the budget. Comm. Pennamon assured Comm. Luke that all the departments would absorb this cost in their budgets and no one would go over budget……BUT, he added, if they did go over budget, then the overruns would come out of “contingency.”
Comm. Henry, Comm. Jernigan, and Comm. Pennamon all voted yes to lower the employee premiums back to the previous amount, while Comm. Luke voted no. He said that the premiums are only going to continue to get higher. Comm. Craig Salmon did not attend the meeting.
With this increase, the taxpayers will pay approximately $800,000 per year for employee health insurance.
Taxpayers, this is why your taxes continue to increase. The BOC talks big during the budget work sessions about cutting, but then they turn around and increase the costs anyway—after the fact.
Citizens, be informed and stay informed! Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County. That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.