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Santa Rosa County employees haven't seen a raise in since 2007
SANTA ROSA COUNTY -- To say Santa Rosa County is cash strapped is an understatement.
the county hasn't been able to give its employees a raise in nearly 6 years.
"Houses in Santa Rosa County are producing lower property taxes, and have been for 6 years, which means less money for county employees."
The last time Santa Rosa County employees saw a pay increase was back in 2007.
At that time, the average price of gas was around 2.78 a gallon.
Since then they've been living and working on a 2007 salary, in a 2013 economy.
"Some deputies are working paycheck to paycheck and they're trying to survive, based upon their salary which was back in 2007"
"A deputy that works 4 or 5 days a week ends up working sometimes 6 or 7 days just to make ends meet at the house"
The county uses money from property taxes to pay its employees, which lately hasn't been enough to sustain a pay raise.
The Santa Rosa Sheriff's Office has been hit hard.
They've lost 20-deputies, and 45 personnel and with no money to replace them, existing deputies have had to do more with less.
"It's difficult for us in some instances to accept additional responsibilities and carry them out, I mean we do it, we have to do it, it's not an option"
843 people work for Santa Rosa County across various departments.
From the property appraiser, tax collector, clerk of courts, sheriff's office and county commissioners.
Each one has had their salaries frozen for years.
Many local residents feel it's time for county employees to get a bump in pay.
Jeremy Reeder - Santa Rosa County Resident
"I think the cost of living has increased and I think it's silly to expect people to continue to have the same lifestyle without their income increasing"
Jessie Bragg - Santa Rosa Co. Resident
"I think everybody is hurting, they need to have a raise, everybody's having to find second jobs"
"Five to six years without an increase, it does begin to take a toll"
"On June 10th, the county will hold a pre-budget meeting open to the public where they can voice their concerns.