Carbon County residents will again see their county taxes remain the same in 2012.

During the county commissioners' meeting on Thursday, the board voted 2-1 to accept the new amended 2012 county spending plans. Commissioner William O'Gurek cast the sole "no" vote for the $44.05 million operating funds budget.

That means a person who owns a home with an assessed value of $50,000 will be required to again pay $344.65 in county real estate taxes in 2012. This is up $50 from the former 2012 budget, which called for a 1 mill decrease, that was passed by the previous administration last December.

Commissioner Wayne Nothstein, chairman, explained that the new budget officially resets the millage for 2012, from 5.893 mills set by O'Gurek and former Commissioner Charles Getz, to 6.893 mills, which it has been for nearly a decade. It also gave 3 percent raises to county employees, which were approved on Jan. 3; removes some items previously approved by the last administration and moves other items into the contingency funds.

He noted that some things are already starting to creep up that have either not been included in the budget or were unexpected, such as outdated equipment, roof leaks, etc.

In other matters, Nothstein announced that the 911 communications center has handled nearly 3,500 more calls in 2011 than in 2010.

Valerie Norato of Penn Forest Township also approached the board to question the appointment of Commissioner William O'Gurek.

She asked Nothstein why the county code regarding filling a commissioner vacancy differs from the state code. She then provided copies of both codes to the board.

Under county code, it states that the vacancy must be filled by the Court of Common Pleas; but the state code, Norato read, states that the vacancy should be filled by the board of commissioners through a vote to appoint a person who will serve until a successor is elected at the next scheduled municipal election.

Nothstein said he will have to do some research on it and that he would get back to her once he has more information.