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Brown says Obamacare has forced de facto hiring freeze

Mount Olive Town Manager Charles Brown says that the town cannot go past its current 49 employees, because having 50 or more would subject the town to severe financial penalties due to provisions of Obamacare.

By William Holloman

Staff Writer

The Town of Mount Olive has a total labor force of 49 employees, and it is not likely to increase any time soon.

Town manager Charles Brown said once a municipality has a total of 50 employees or more, insurance issues skyrocket.

He said the issue is the Federal Affordable Care Act.

Health care experts have said that once a municipality hits 50 or more employees, in addition to mandated health care, municipalities will be assessed a $63 per employee tax per month.

He said it would cost the town $36,000 a year.

“I’m not going to say we can’t, but we certainly would prefer not to incur that additional expense,” he said.

He said the best approach is to take care of current personnel, because they do a good job.

He said the town’s current labor force does an outstanding job and there is currently no need to expand.

“We have good employees, and in the public works department in just the last six months’ work, what they have done has saved the town over $70,000 by not contracting projects out,” Brown said.

“I think they need to be recognized and compensated for it, and board members agree with that,” added the town manager.

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