NEW PORT RICHEY, Fla. ( - Pasco Sheriff Chris Nocco is asking for a $5 million budget increase for next year, with more than half going to give employees pay raises for the second year in a row.

Nocco released his $96.4 million budget proposal Friday afternoon, calling it a first step away from years of austerity and toward making Pasco a premier county.

“This budget attempts to bring the (sheriff’s office) more in line with other agencies in terms of how we compensate our people,” Nocco wrote in a letter to county commissioners.

Last year Nocco submitted a $93 million budget, but commissioners approved $91 million — which included an across-the-board 3-percent pay raise for all employees. It was the first pay adjustment in six years, but Nocco said it offered little incentive for experienced officers to stay with the department.

For fiscal 2015, Nocco wants to give employees a 1-percent salary adjustment for each year of service, capped at 5 percent.

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