(TCPalm.com) Reports of public employees receiving massive payouts for accrued paid time off has stunned many taxpayers and prompted some elected officials to re-evaluate the perk.
Since 2007, taxpayers have spent more than $22.8 million on local government employees cashing out unused sick and vacation leave, a St. Lucie News Tribune investigation published Sunday found. Collectively, St. Lucie governments are liable for more than $46.2 million in unused paid time off for current employees.
It's a perk under national scrutiny, including in places such as New Jersey, Minnesota and Chicago.
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"It's something that should be exposed. Everybody we've talked to has been astounded," said Port St. Lucie resident and retired administrative assistant Michele Bradley after learning about the payouts. "The payouts are extremely high, and it's costing taxpayers a lot of money. That's the bottom line."