When reviewing the Ohio County Commissioners handbook (ok, I will admit I have no life – Monday night football is in my rear view mirror), I found an interesting description of the role of the County Budget Commission.
The operative sentence to me is this: “The county budget commission has the important responsibility to assure that both voted and unvoted property tax levies are “needed” by taxing authorities”.
The following sentence also warrants additional questions: ” While Ohio law allows for two citizens to be elected to the budget commission, no county has ever used this option. (ORC 5705.27) We will ask the commissioners if they have ever thought about that option.
Now here is where “two and two are not equaling four” for me. We asked Mr. Ed Zupancic, Lake County Auditor, what the Lake County’s Budget Commission does exactly. Here is his response:
“The Budget Commission does not approve or deny tax levies, The purpose of the Budget Commission is to assure that when a levy is approved by the voters the proper amount is collected”.
What this is telling me is that while the Ohio County Commissioners’ Handbook specifically states that it is the responsibility of the CBC to assure that levies are “needed”, Lake County Budget Commission only is concerned about the levy AFTER the voters have approved the levy.
So taxpayers are at the mercy of the Board of Trustees of the various sub-division……….now what could go wrong there????