Carbon County commissioners adopted the final 2020 budget Thursday morning.
The budget includes a two mill tax increase.
Commissioners say it's the first time the county has had to raise taxes since 2013, and only the second time in the last 17 years.
They say several costs have contributed to the need for a tax hike, one of which is the county's prison.
"This past year in particular has been particularly hard on the prison," said Wayne Nothstein, chairman of the Carbon County Board of Commissioners.
The Carbon County Correctional Facility has had its share of problems in 2019. One of the biggest was a water line freeze that led to months, and thousands of dollars worth, of repairs.
"In the meantime, we found many other issues in the pumphouse, in the piping, pipes leaking, band-aids on them, things of that nature," said Nothstein.
Those problems were just a few of the unforeseen prison costs having to be paid by the county.
"Some additional personnel costs such as unscheduled overtime. If we have inmates who need medical care, our prison guards need to provide 24-hour service at those facilities where they're being treated," said Tony Harvilla, Carbon County Sheriff and chairman of the Carbon County Prison Board.
Commissioners say medical care costs hit the county especially hard in 2019.
"We've had several cases and as many as three inmates in the hospital at one time, so that creates an overtime situation itself," said Nothstein.
Officials say the prison population has been near capacity for several years.
"As the sheriff's department we've been trying to move as many inmates that are sentenced to state facilities as promptly as possible to keep those numbers down," said Harvilla.
All factors in the increase of prison costs, contributing to the county's need for a two mill tax increase in 2020.
"We have some major decisions to make with the prison and what are our priorities there, what can we do this year or what must we be doing this year and looking at a better long-term plan," said Nothstein.
If the new Board of Commissioners wants to make any changes to the 2020 budget, they will have the opportunity to vote to reopen it, come the new year.