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SPENDING PLAN INCLUDES 9.5 PERCENT TAX HIKE

Genesee County's 2005 budget of $110.72 million, with a property tax rate increase of nearly 10 percent, was released Tuesday by County Manager Jay A. Gsell.

The spending plan of $2.7 million more than the current year includes eight layoffs and a tax rate of $10.92 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, an increase of $1.08, or 9.5 percent.

Gsell blamed the increase in spending on state mandates, particularly Medicaid, whose $9 million net allocation for 2005 has gone up 75 percent in the last four years.

In addition to the eight layoffs in the recommended budget, another eight positions now or soon to be vacant will be eliminated.

A hearing on the budget will be held at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Senior Center, 2 Bank St. The Legislature most likely will vote on the plan at its Nov. 22 meeting.

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