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McLean County Budgeteers Begin Their Work With A Draft

The proposed new budget for McLean County government is 4% higher than last year. County Administrator Bill Wasson says the increase of 3.7 million dollars will go to several areas including the jail renovation and expansion, the Towanda Barnes road widening effort, new phones for the ETSB, and courtroom audio system replacement.

The budget includes a 1.5% pay increase. Four jobs will be cut including one sheriff's deputy, and staff in the state's attorneys and child protection service offices because of state grant cuts.

The draft of the nearly $92.5 million plan now goes to committees for review and change before it is scheduled for approval in December.

The plan includes new revenue from a potential sales tax increase in the twin cities, expected growth in land values, and a minor increase in the property tax rate. That rate would still be below 2011 and 2012 rates. The owner of a 165,000 dollar home would pay about six dollars more to the county in property taxes. And the County is less than 11% of the total property tax burden in Bloomington Normal.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.