(La Porte County, IN) - A tax increase should be looked at to increase the pay of underpaid La Porte County government employees to keep them from leaving, according to LaPorte County Auditor Tim Stabosz.
Currently, La Porte County has significant problems with employees like paramedics, emergency radio dispatchers, and sheriff's deputies, leaving for much higher pay at other municipalities.
Stabosz said the bonuses proposed right now would provide only short-term relief from the high turnover at best. He said funds are needed to offer structured long-term salary increases and bonuses to gain employees' confidence, so they stay and not have to worry about their future pay.
To obtain the dollars, Stabosz said a tax increase is an option that should be explored to fund competitive wages considering La Porte County has the sixth-lowest tax rate in the state. Stabosz said he doesn't necessarily support raising taxes and knows just mentioning it could hurt him politically but feels obligated to present it as an option.
“Bonuses are flashes in the pan. They don’t work really over the long run, but a long-term funding plan to go along with it is what will make people say that these commissioners and council people support us,” he said.