By Steve Pickett

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DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – An 8% pay hike will be seen in paychecks of 6,000 employees of Dallas County.

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Tuesday, Dallas County Commissioners approved a budget that includes a general fund of $513 million.

The pay hike was approved while dozens of Dallas County Sheriff’s deputies filled the Commissioners Court meeting, imploring Commissioners to increase their pay.

“I have been an employee here for 20 years”, county deputy Billy Ray Hamilton told Commissioners.

Under the proposed budget, deputies would see a traditional stair step pay model return, after only seeing moderate pay increases over the past five years.

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“Our people (employees) have sacrificed for years”, County Commissioner John Wiley Price implored, during the budget discussion.

But County Judge Clay Jenkins argued for a tax rate rollback to offset higher property tax appraisals. “I’m happy employees will get 8%, but disappointed for hard working people having to pay higher rates”, he said.

The majority of the Court voted in favor for the budget that includes 8% raises for county staffers.

Sheriff Lupe Valdez said the pay hikes will help retain veteran deputies. “We need to pay our folks the way surrounding areas are paying, so it was necessary to get 8%, plus step increases”, she said.

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