Metro East county board votes on proposed budget with hefty fee increases

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by Chris Stanford / News 4

KMOV.com

Posted on November 25, 2013 at 7:13 PM

(KMOV) -- A Metro East county appears to be ready to pass on their financial burdens to the tax payers.

St. Clair County officials plan to vote on a proposed $177 million budget on Monday and the new budge seems to be loaded with fee increases. A large chunk of county’s revenue comes from fees.

The budget includes cuts, another pay raise for county employees and a long list of higher fees. If approved, more than 30 county fees will rise, affecting small businesses and individual citizens.

Copies of marriage, birth and death certificates would increase along with vehicle licensing fees. The budget calls for building permits to go up $20 to $25 each.

It would also make restaurant inspections more costly but not all county board members are for the proposal.

“Putting fees on small businesses and residents of the county to fund the excessive spending and cover the shortfalls, that’s not right. That's not fair.  We need to get our own house in order before we go and ask the taxpayers for anything else,” said Nick Miller, St. Clair County District 4 Board Member.

Board chair, Mark Kern, was reportedly in charge of putting the budget proposal together. He said he cut five-percent from last year’s budget and that the county hasn’t seen any substantial growth in five years.

The St. Clair County Board will vote Monday night at a meeting which starts at 7:30. 

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