Summit 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 Summit County?

The state cut the Local Government Fund to the county, forcing Summit 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…………………………… -$1.2 million
  • Schools………………………………………… -$67.8 million
  • County operations…………………………….. -$24.9 million  (including LGF for townships)
  • Akron……………………………………………. -$13.2 million
  • Barberton……………………………………….. -$1.4 million
  • Cuyahoga Falls………………………………… -$2.9 million
  • Green……………………………………………. -$773.0 thousand
  • Macedonia……………………………………… -$987.0 thousand
  • Norton…………………………………………… -$655.0 thousand
  • Stow…………………………………………….. -$1.7 million
  • Metropolitan Park District…………………….. -$1.2 million

Loss to health and human service levies

  • County mental health/ developmental disabilities…………. -$8.3 million
  • County children’s services……………………………………. -$2.8 million                                      

Notes and Quotes

Summit County Sheriff’s spokesman Bill Holland said the jail was being operated at the minimum required staffing because of financial cutbacks over the past several years. He estimated that each day there were 17 to 18 deputies off work. Staffing is so low that vacation requests had been denied.  Because of the low staffing, inmates were kept locked in their cells longer and didn’t receive as much recreation time. That meant inmates were unhappier, leading to fights that contributed to deputy injuries. From Armon, Rick, “Summit County Jail overtime chews up budget,” Akron Beacon Journal, April 19, 2012, http://tinyurl.com/8j3l3p6.

Budget deficits and staffing cuts had eliminated most, if not all, of the specialized units, Sheriff Holland said. It had, in effect, further diminished the warrant enforcement process. From Meyerand, Ed and Phil Trexler, “Budget deficits and staffing cuts hinder warrant enforcement in Summit County, officials say,” Akron Beacon Journal, February 15, 2012, http://tinyurl.com/9t2eac9.

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, and;
  • Property tax reimbursements promised to local governments during tax reductions enacted earlier in the decade.  The 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. 

Editorial Note 1/17/2013: A previous version of this report included a quote attributed to Tonya Block, Summit County FCFC Director.

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