ROCKLAND, Maine — Knox County released a preliminary 2012 budget Wednesday that is slightly higher than this year’s. County taxpayers will be asked for $7,788,775 — up about $250,000 from the current budget.

The county, however, proposes using about $175,000 from surplus to lessen the impact on taxpayers. Otherwise, the budget would have gone up almost 3 percent. As is, the proposed budget is 0.17 percent higher, with taxpayers expected to see about a $10,000 rise in taxes.

Salary raises increased the budget by about $280,000 and health insurance costs rose by almost 9 percent for next year, according to Knox County Administrator Andrew Hart.

This year’s budget had no raises.

A public hearing on the budget will be 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 1, at the county commissioners’ offices in the courthouse at 62 Union St. in Rockland. The commissioners will vote on the budget that night.