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Vote is set on pay raises for Oklahoma County employees

The proposed 2 percent bump in pay for Oklahoma County employees is intended to compensate for reductions that took effect when the federal payroll tax cut expired Jan. 1, officials say.
BY WILLIAM CRUM Published: February 21, 2013

Oklahoma County employees will get across-the-board, 2 percent pay raises retroactive to Jan. 1 if a county budget panel approves the proposal on Thursday.

County Treasurer Butch Freeman, who has held the post since 1993, said it was the first time he could recall county employees getting an across-the-board raise.

A separate proposal to increase the $106,000 annual salaries of the county's eight elected officers by 2 percent lacks sufficient support from the County Commission and appears dead.

The raises are intended to make up for the reductions in take-home pay that took effect when the 2 percent federal payroll tax cut expired at the first of the year.

County employees are in “dire need” of that money, said Ray Vaughn, the County Commission chairman. He blamed President Barack Obama for failing to reach an agreement to extend the federal payroll tax cut.

“I don't want the employees to be disadvantaged because of the president's lack of follow-through on his promise not to raise taxes on the middle class,” he said. “We have to take care of our people.”

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