May 04, 2015
May 04, 2015
Ten years ago, lawmakers started chopping away at certain business taxes with the promise that lost revenue we depend on for parks, schools, mental health services and libraries would be replaced.
They set up a plan to temporarily reimburse local governments for the lost tax revenue through payment of “tax reimbursements” and said economic growth would ultimately patch the hole. But the economic renaissance never happened, and now lawmakers are poised to further cut tax reimbursements in the budget bill. The upshot is that health and human services are left deep in the hole, on track to lose millions.
House Bill 64, the budget bill under discussion at Capital Square, will chop state aid to senior services levies by $3.7 million. Children’s service levies will lose $17 million, local health levies will lose $9.5 million and local mental health and developmental disabilities services will lose another $53 million. Libraries lose $6.2 million.
There’s been too much chopping, and not enough investing. Ohio families look to local services for help with mental health and disabilities. We depend on children’s services to keep kids in our communities safe. Public health affects us all. And so many of us are getting older: we will need services for seniors on an increasing, not decreasing basis.
The economy is built from the ground up, and the platform is the public services we all depend on. Local public services like public health, children’s services, senior services and the rest are at the very base.
-- Wendy Patton
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