*New Castle Mayor Wayne Alexander's proposed budget is $582,768 higher than the 2005 plan.

*Salaries increase a total of $320,216 and employee benefits -- which cover items such as workers' compensation, Social Security and health insurance -- go up by $153,144 for a total of $473,360.

*Salaries and employee benefits make up 80.5 percent of the new spending.

*Most of the increase in employee benefits is attributed to health insurance costs, which are expected to go up by $175,000. The overall increase in employee benefits is less than that figure because of reductions in other items, including workers' compensation and Social Security.

*Several revenue sources have been lowered to reflect more realistic collections, according to business administrator Tammi Gibson. Collections from the sale of the blue garbage bags is estimated at $650,000, a drop of $90,000 from this year's budget. She said it reflects a drop in the sale of bags. However, she said, she doesn't know why sales are down. Bags cost $1.30 apiece.

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