Lake County’s Local Government Funds…Townships Short-Changed

Updated 11/22/22 9:40 am

We have spent a great deal of time over the years researching and writing about the Local Government funds distributions. Starting in 2008 calendar year, the LGF receives 3.68 percent share of all general revenue tax collections by the State of Ohio.

Update: The Local Government Funds from the State coffers has been reduced to 1.66%.

https://tax.ohio.gov/static/communications/publications/local_government_fund.pdf

The state distributes the funds based on the ORC section 5767.60.Take note of how the amount paid to the County is determined:

“County’s proportionate share of the total amount of the local government fund additional revenue formula” means each county’s proportionate share of the state’s population as determined for and certified to the county for distributions to be made during the current calendar year under division (B)(2)(a) of section 5747.501 of the Revised Code.”

How does the County distribute the LGF when they are received by the State?
If you said the distribution is made by the population of each city, townships, or village in the County, you would only partially correct. Ninety-five percent of the funds are allocated based on the 1982 predetermined formula and 5% is based on population (updated every ten years).

Back in 1982, the Lake County officials, primarily Democrats from the Western part of the County got together and decided how to split up the taxpayers’ money. The following is the Lake County Auditor’s worksheet showing the 1982 allocation and the estimated distributions for 2023.

We have been told that the Townships back in 1982 did not even have a “seat at the table”, and the City of Mentor is the “big dog” in the County. They can veto any hope of changing the formula because they do not want to receive less, and they do not want the County getting a bigger share of the pie.

We asked the question what would happen if the formula was 100% based on population? So we rolled up our sleeves, and tried to find the answer to our own question. We received from our ever helpful and very competent Auditor’s office the payments received by each municipality for the years 2010 – 2019. We then decided to calculate for that ten year period how much each municipality would received if we used strictly the population as of 2010. Here are the results of our study:

The column on the far right (Over / Short) shows those municipalities that benefited from the 1982 formula, and the municipalities in brackets (….) indicate the amount that they were shorted because of the formula.

You will notice that all the Townships came up short. Painesville Township’s ($5,152,362.56) could be reduced by the $680,676.88 that they received for their Township Park.

Concord Township was the big loser. They contributed ($6,440,405.46) to the other municipalities. This is why Concord is known as a “donor community”. However, the last time I checked no one asked me to donate.

Who is Concord supporting? Waite Hill Village and Kirtland Hills Village received $1,238,723.08 and $1,065,318.07 respectively over their population formula. Waite Hill Village, as of 2010, had 471 people and Kirtland Hills Village had 646 people. As a comparison, Concord Township had 18,201 people!

The Democrat politicians took care of their districts. Wickliffe, Eastlake, Willowick, Willoughby, and Willoughby Hills all did very well with the 1982 formula.

So how did the “Big Dog”, the City of Mentor, fare with the 1982 formula? Well the “Big Dog” cost the taxpayers of the city $2,048,058.79 over ten years. (Average $204K per year) Perhaps that is “small potatoes” to a city with a huge budget, and their elected officials do not care to rock the boat. However, perhaps the Mentor taxpayers would have a different point of view once the curtain has been pulled back for them to see how their elected officials are looking out for their best interests.

We have been informed that Concord officials are trying to do something about the inequity. The Township belongs to a State of Ohio group known as Coalition of Large Ohio Urban Townships (CLOUT). They are hoping to influence the State legislators to amend the 1982 alternative formula.

The page below is part of CLOUT’s campaign to the legislators. They say that the alternate formula should include factors such as property wealth ratio, population density, population, taxable value, taxable value per capita, per capita income, or other relevant metrics. Basically, what they are saying it that if your community is wealthy you will get less of the local government funds.

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Categories: Lake County - General, Lake County Politics, Uncategorized

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