KINGWOOD — Preston County Clerk Linda Huggins argued for employee raises from a shrinking county budget at the March 20 county commission meeting.

“I think you’re doing a disservice to county employees,” by not including raises in the 2017-’18 budget, she said.

“I would put their pay scale and their benefits against anything for a job that matches up equally,” Commission President Craig Jennings replied.

The FY 2017-’18 budget is projected to be $203,649 less than the current fiscal year’s, Jennings said. The current budget is $8,675,000. The projected budget for FY 2017-’18 is $8,471,351.

While $51,518 more is expected in tax collections, revenue from video lottery, gaming, Division of Motor Vehicle fees and county clerk earnings on such things as making copies of records are expected to be down.

The levy rate remains the same. The new budget includes 3.7 percent budgeted for contingencies, down from 5.5 percent in the current budget, a difference of $166.297.