A proposed Door County budget for 2012 has been passed on to the County’s Finance & Administrative Committees to consider in anticipation of a recommendation to the full County Board later this year. The $70.1 million budget, which features a proposed tax levy of $24,807,971 is impacted by the two year State budget approved earlier this year requiring governmental employees to pay into their health insurance & retirement accounts. However, Door County has agreements with it’s unions that don’t expire until 2013. Without being able to raise taxes to cover the shortfall created by action on the State front, County Administrator Mike Serpe tried unsuccessfully to get the unions involved to voluntarily agree to participate in the contributions prescribed in the State budget. His fall back position is to reduce hours for each County employee except those exempted by State law. however, in order to do that, Serpe is seeking an opinion from the Wisconsin Employment Relations Commission. He noted that implementation of the of the hourly reduction plan will mean no layoffs in the current budget. However, if the State agency rules against Serpe’s plan, layoffs will be needed to balance the budget.