Local Government Funds…..State decisions that impact all of us

You may not be aware of something called “Local Government Funds”. It is a revenue sharing program initiated by the State politicians and bureaucrats that redistributes taxpayers’ money that is collected from their various revenue sources, such as sales and income taxes.  Here is some history and explanation of the funds:  Local Govt Fund Explanation

We had heard that Governor Kasich had balanced the State of Ohio’s Budget on the backs of local taxpayers.  We went on a mission to prove that statement.  Here is an newspaper article, written in the summer of 2018, that really provides honesty and transparency to the issue at hand.   Kasich article

Upon reviewing the various executive summaries on the State’s budgets, we uncovered this item in the 2006 – 2007 budget proposal.  It is very revealing about the mindset of the politicians, on how they manipulate the various taxes that impact businesses and individuals. On the second at third pages, you will see how they cut taxes in one area, but have to raise taxes in other areas.  Curious that they never seem to cut the expenses of the bureaucracy.   2006 – 2007 Executive summary

On our quest for more answers, we asked Mr. Mike Matas, Lake County Finance Director, to provide us with the local government funds distributed to the cities, townships and villages in Lake County for a ten year period.  ( Mr. Matas is truly a dedicated public servant, and is very capable and competent in his role as Finance Director. We thank him for all the hard work to get us the information in such a timely fashion.  We should also say that we have found every County employee to be kind, courtesy, and responsive to our questions on Lake County issues.  Our sincere thanks to all of them is in order.)

Here is a recap of what Mr. Matas sent to us.  Local Govt Funds by Muni

Sorry, there are so many numbers on the page, but this what the schedule is telling us:

  1. In 2008, the largest distribution was made by the State to Lake County municipalities: $19,437,555
  2. From 2009 to 2017 the total decrease in funds distributed to Lake County municipalities was a whopping $70,060,155.  This has caused the local municipalities to go back to the taxpayers for additional increases in real estate estate taxes.  However, it should be noted that the Commissioners did reduce the inside millage (not voted on by taxpayers) property taxes in 2012, but added a .5% increase in the sales taxes to compensate for lost revenue.  The decline in the millage was from 2.1 to 1 mill.
  3. When coupled with the State’s decision to marginalize the homestead exemption, and to eliminate the 10% rollback, and 2.5% owner exemption on new real estate taxes, the State is squeezing the financial life out of the taxpayers.  They are exacerbating the problem of pricing seniors and others living on fixed incomes out of their homes.

One more schedule for you – We wanted to compare how each municipality has been impacted by Governor Kasich’s decision to push the burden back to the  local communities.  Here is a comparison of 2008 versus 2017 by township, village and city.   2008 vs 2017 by muni

You can see how your individual municipality has been impacted.  There has been an annual decrease to Lake County of $9,763,307 (50.2%).  Yikes!  So when Kasich gloats about balancing the budget…..take it with a “grain of salt”.  It is not because of his great financial acumen.

So if the local communities have suffered at the hands of Governor Kasich, where did the money go?  The total State budget has not decreased, but rather has increased.  Our quest continues, who benefited from the money taken from the local taxpayers?  Did it truly go into Kasich’s $2 Billion “rainy day fund”, or was it shuffled off to some other fund that benefited a specific group that had great lobbyists.

Stay tuned……our quest for the complete answer continues……

 

 



Categories: Lake County Cities & Townships

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