ROCKLAND — The initial draft of the Knox County budget for 2023 shows a 13 percent increase.

County Commissioners met for four hours Friday, Oct. 14 with county department heads to review the proposals.

The initial draft budget generally is trimmed significantly from what is ultimately approved by Commissioners and the Knox County Budget Committee. For example, the budget for 2022 that was finally approved was $1.1 million less than the initial draft budget.

The draft 2023 budget comes in at $15.6 million, an increase of 17 percent from the $13.2 million approved budget for 2022. The amount of property taxes to be required from Knox County municipalities for 2023 would be 13 percent more under the initial draft budget.

The larger budget is due to wage increases, rising health insurance costs and additional staffing.

The Commissioners and Budget Committee will hold their first meeting on the budget at 5 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3. That is the evening of the public hearing.

The largest account in the draft county budget is the corrections department, which is proposed at $5.8 million, an increase of $800,000. The budget calls for creating a diversion deputy for $50,263 not including benefits.

The sheriff’s patrol budget is proposed at more than $3.1 million, an increase of $383,000.

The communications budget is proposed at nearly $1.5 million, an increase of $208,000.

The airport budget is proposed at nearly $1.2 million, about a $350,000 increase. The budget is fully funded by non-property tax revenues, such as fees and rent, to users of the airport.

The draft budgets for maintaining the courthouse and public safety buildings total $917,000, an increase of $323,000.

The administration and information technology budget is proposed at $769,000, an increase of about $104,000. The commissioners pay is proposed to remain at $9,200. The annual stipend for the commission chair would remain at $800.

The department calls for adding a human resources manager for $62,000, not including benefits.

The district attorney budget is proposed at $615,000, up $57,000. The salaries of the prosecutors are not included in the county, but instead paid through the Attorney General’s budget at the state level. The finance budget is proposed at $395,000, up $63,000. The probate budget is proposed at $315,000, up $20,000. The deeds budget is proposed at $255,000, up $14,000. Deeds is projecting it will bring in $543,000 in revenues. The emergency management agency budget is proposed at $285,000, up $30,000.

Camden would pay the largest share of the county budget. The cost of county government is divided up largely on property valuations with the more valued towns paying a larger share. Camden’s payments — including public safety dispatch fees — are projected to be $2,026,000, an increase of $308,000.

Rockport would pay $1,473,000, an increase of $263,000. Rockland would pay $1,339,000, an increase of $193,000. St. George would pay $1,286,000, an increase of $260,000. Vinalhaven would pay $681,000, an increase of $70,000. Warren would pay $647,000 an increase of $135,000. Thomaston would pay $603,000, an increase of $109,000.  Owls Head would pay $563,000, an increase of $74,000. North Haven would pay $468,000, an increase of $87,000. Cushing will pay $477,000, an increase of $81,000. South Thomaston would pay $432,000 — an increase of $68,000. Union would pay $445,000, an increase of $88,000. Friendship would pay $388,000, an increase of $71,000. Hope would pay $356,000, an increase of $39,000. Washington would pay $264,000, an increase of $33,000. Appleton would pay $233,000, an increase of $40,000. Isle au Haut would pay $81,000, a decrease of $5,000. Matinicus would pay $41,000, an increase of $2,000.