2018 County Budget News: Cost of Living Adjustment
The cost of living increase for county officials whose minimum salary is established by state law (i.e., coroner, magistrate, probate judge, sheriff, superior court clerk, and tax commissioner) and for county commissioners is calculated based upon the amount of cost of living increases and/or general performance increases awarded to state employees by the General Assembly in the appropriations bill. The Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget (OPB) calculates the average cost of living increases and/or general performance increase given to state employees. State employees received a 2% merit increase for high performing employees, which translates into a 2% COLA for county elected officials. Although state employee may receive their increase on July 1, 2017, the COLA for county officials is not effective until January 1, 2018.
Each year, ACCG prepares a guide to assist county budget officials and payroll officials in calculating county official salaries. This guide is reviewed and approved by the County Officer Association of Georgia, the Georgia Sheriffs’ Association and the Magistrate Council. Until the 2018 salary guide is available, county officials may use the 2017 guide to prepare estimates for the 2018 salaries.
 See, O.C.G.A. § 1-3-4.1.