Tampa, Florida -- From Pensacola to Key West there are 131,131 state employees that receive tax dollars for running the sunshine state. While you may never have heard of Eric Smith, Kenneth Keck or Willis Holcombe they are the top three wage earners employed by the state.
Smith, the Commissioner of Education, makes $275,000. Keck the executive Director of the Citrus Commission, makes $206,000. Holcombe, the Chancellor of Community Colleges, pulls in $189,999.
There are 2,552 workers that make more than six figures, which is about 2 percent of the state work force. 1,213 people make more than Governor Charlie Crist, who is somehow able to eke by on his $132,932 yearly salary. However, Crist does get to live in the Governor's Mansion while he is in office.
If you're aiming for big bucks with the state, being an Executive Director or District Administrator is a good career choice, as it is the leading six figure category. There are 166 in those categories making a 100 grand or more.
Many taxpayers, like Tiffany Michaud, told us they don't think they should earn the high salaries, especially because they believe the people who do most of the work get paid a lot less.
Being an assistant is high paying as well as there are 39 assistant directors or assistant secretaries making a hundred grand or more.
However, the majority of the other 100,000 state workers are lawyers, judges or doctors. All those employees help make the state payroll cost taxpayers $153 a second; $9,208 a minute; $552,514 an hour; $1.3 million a day; $392 million a month; and $4.7 billion a year. However the payroll figure pales in comparison to the $12 billion each taxpayer shells out to public employees receiving one time drop payments and retirement benefits.
Sara Beth Snuggs is the state retirement director. She says Florida has what's called an employee non-contribution plan.
According to Snuggs, that means no employee contributes the cost of the benefit, the employer pays for it.
We reminded Snuggs that the taxpayer is the actual employer and they are picking up the tab, she nodded and said that's correct.
Mike Deeson, 10 Connects