MANATEE — Manatee County commissioners have been notified they are receiving $272 increase in their annual pay.
But Commission Chairman Carol Whitmore told the board Tuesday she wanted to give the money back to the county because other county employees have not enjoyed raises this year.
She also encouraged other commissioners to give raises back, too.
However, in trying to give the money back, Whitmore has encountered a stumbling block: It would cost money in staff costs to honor her request, according to R.B. “Chips” Shore, Manatee County clerk and comptroller.
“There are no clear rules as to how a commissioner may refuse the increase,” he wrote in an e-mail that also listed commissioners’ salaries at $75,079 a year, up $272 from $74,807 last year.
The Florida Legislature's Office of Economic and Demographic Research calculates the raise based on the consumer price index, population and other factors, according to the Florida Department of Revenue.
“Since we were just advised of their wanting to do this, we have a problem, as the first salary payments have been made,” Shore wrote. “Reversing the already-made payments will cost almost as much to the county than the increase.”
Part of the cost would involve going back into the records, and reporting changes to the Internal Revenue Service, he said, adding that it was “a huge mess.”