Morrow County

November 8, 2012
   
State Overview
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Impact of the 2012-13 state budget (HB 153)

Ohio’s budget for 2012 and 2013 cut local government aid by a billion dollars.  This means cuts in services we depend on, from road repair and emergency services to crossing guards, senior transportation and child protective services. What are the implications for Morrow County?

The state cut the Local Government Fund to the county, forcing Morrow County to make cuts to jurisdictions within the county. The state also cut direct funding to municipalities, and slashed reimbursements for taxes it had eliminated, taxes that businesses and utilities had paid to local governments. School districts and the public library fund were also cut. Losses in calendar years 2012 and 2013, compared to 2010 and 2011, include, among others:

  • Public Library Fund………………. -$41,000
  • Schools……………………………. -$3.2 million
  • County operations……………….. -$694,000  (includes LGF for townships and parks)
  • Cardington………………………… -$111,000
  • Mt. Gilead………………………… -$43,000
  • Big Walnut Fire District…………. -$12,000

Loss to health and human service levies:

  • County mental health/developmental disabilities……….. -$67,000
  • County health……………………………………………….. -$47,000
  • County senior services…………………………………….. -$21,000

Notes and quotes

“To date, no alter­na­tive, effec­tive sug­ges­tions have been offered that will save the dis­trict sig­nif­i­cant money. It is a tremen­dously dif­fi­cult deci­sion for this dis­trict to do; how­ever, to look at not doing some­thing and wait­ing would impact twice the num­ber next year. What we are doing today has to be dif­fer­ent than what we were doing five years ago because the money has changed. These cuts are proac­tive; they have to be because the state is not giv­ing us any more money” – Dis­trict Trea­surer Trevor Gum­mere (speaking to angry parents at the board of education meeting). From Gompf, LeAnne, “Students and parents protest staff cuts in Mt. Gilead,” Morrow County Sentinel, March 28, 2012, http://bit.ly/MU4Et4.

Cuts in Mt. Gilead sparked protest at a school board meeting, but the board voted to accept reductions to eliminate a projected $2.3 million deficit.  Positions eliminated included a full-time band director who oversaw the high school’s music program. From Gompf, LeAnne, “Students and parents protest staff cuts in Mt. Gilead,” Morrow County Sentinel, March 28, 2012. http://bit.ly/MU4Et4.

“They say they’re going to have a sav­ings…..but they don’t account for the fact that then peo­ple would have to go to Mar­ion for all of their ser­vices. So they don’t account for the time, gas, or frus­tra­tion. We as gov­ern­ment have to under­stand that we’re here to pro­vide essen­tial ser­vices, and it takes a min­i­mum stan­dard to be able to do that. I think we’re below that in Mor­row County.” – Morrow County Com­mis­sioner Tom Whis­ton (speaking about a potential merger with Marion County). From “Commissioners discuss consolidation of government, talk county budget,” The Morrow County Sentinel, June 13, 2012. http://bit.ly/QjiMwz.

NOTES:  The current state budget cuts the Local Government Fund to counties, municipalities and townships by 25 percent in the first year and by 50 percent in the second year. This 77-year old state revenue sharing program has, for generations, been essential to helping Ohio communities fund schools, provide services, and lift people out of poverty.  The current state budget also phases out most of the tangible personal property tax and public utility property tax reimbursements, which were promised to local governments when the state cut taxes in recent years.  These are not the only losses to local governments because of this budget.  There are others in specific programs.  Here we detail some of the bigger shifts.  Change in revenues shown here include:

  • Local Government Fund “County Undivided Fund,” which counties share with their cities, townships and villages. We show how much less money the counties are receiving under the current 2-year state budget (for 2012 and 2013) compared to the two years under the prior state budget (which was for 2010 and 2011).   Here the funds are shown on a calendar year basis because that is how the tax department forecasts and records their distribution to local governments, and it is how local governments budget;
  • Local Government “Municipal Direct” allocation from the Local Government Fund that the state gives directly to municipalities with an income tax.  This is also shown in terms of funding provided in the calendar years 2012 and 2013 compared to 2010 and 2011;
  • Property tax reimbursements promised to local governments during tax reductions enacted earlier in the decade; loss of funding in calendar years 2012 and 2013 is compared to the level of funding provided in 2010 and 2011.

The figures for changes in funding levels are based on data provided by and spreadsheets online at the Ohio Department of Taxation for local government funds and tax reimbursement distributions. 

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