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Fiscal Focus: Local Government

Why the Public Should Invest Our local governments provide the most direct services to us.  We drive on local roads, walk on local sidewalks, and throw our trash in local trashcans picked up by local refuse collectors.  Our parks are local, our fire fighters are local, and our social workers are local.  Local government services are visible to us everyday and are essential to our daily lives. Ohio has established a Local Government Fund and other revenue sharing mechanisms to

Farm Bureau Identifies One Bad Trade

Some good news if you’re scared of bad trades being considered in Ohio right now: 1) From the Farm Bureau yesterday: “Farm Bureau voted to oppose an increase in the severance tax solely for the purpose of funding a state income tax reduction. If there is an increase in the severance tax, it should address local government funding, infrastructure needs, local and state economic development and mitigation of negative impacts on local communities and the environment.” Raising th

Hamilton County Facing Draconian Cuts

After $28.6 million cut from Hamilton County in the current two-year budget, here’s a surprise in today’s Cincinnati Enquirer: Since June Hamilton County Commissioners have known they’ll have to find $20 million to cover a shortfall in the county’s 2013 general fund budget – the money that pays to prosecute crime, put deputies on the streets and run back office functions like collecting taxes and figuring levies. Oh wait, that’s not a surprise!  When you lose nearly $30 milli

Trillions, Billions, Millions: Westerville – Tuesday, October 2nd

When: Tuesday, October 2nd, 6:30-8pm Where: Westerville Public Library, 126 S. State St., 43081 (Meeting Room B) Who: Speakers will include Jerry Rampelt of Support Ohio Schools, Wendy Patton of Policy Matters Ohio, and Gavin DeVore Leonard of One Ohio Now What: A public conversation about budgets – how federal, state, and local budgets impact you and your community. We’ve got an event in the works in Athens, are supporting work happening in Wooster and a tele-town hall at th

Trillions Billions Millions: Cincinnati, Tuesday September 25th

Our first in a series of public conversations – part info session, part question/conversation – will be taking place in Cincinnati on Tuesday the 25th, here are the details: When: Tuesday, September 25th, 6:30-8pm Where: 1100 Race Street (Elementz in OTR) Who: Speakers will include Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls of Cincinnati City Council, Wendy Patton of Policy Matters Ohio, and Gavin DeVore Leonard of One Ohio Now What: A public conversation about budgets – how federal, state, a

Watch Out: Your Library Might Be Next

The Toledo-Lucas County Library will have a levy on the ballot this fall to help support their vital programs in the community.  Ohio’s libraries “used to get a straight percentage of income-tax revenue,” as Policy Matters Ohio detailed in their “10 Reasons to Like the Ohio Income Tax.”  I don’t typically like to use fear as a motivator, but as state funding for local services has been slashed, you should be wondering if your library will be next. Governor Kasich has been tal

Effects Keep Trickling Down: Toledo Edition

Add Toledo local officials to the list of folks across Ohio that are unhappy about the cuts they’re seeing as a result of the current state budget. details the effects in Lucas County that led to this article in the Blade – $82 million from education and $47 million from local governments, for example. With increased focus on federal budget issues due to the presidential election, it’s important for everyone to understand that the effects of budgets trickle

Does Every School District Have a Generous NFL Player?

Michigan is churning out some interesting responses to the budget cuts that public services are facing all across the country – which would only be exacerbated by plans like Paul Ryan’s, by the way, which would cut $700 million from Ohio.  First there was the Troy, Michigan Book Burning video, and now this: The NFL’s LaMarr Woodley made a donation to his hometown Saginaw Public Schools so that sports wouldn’t have to be pay-to-play. When my feed is even showing the e

It’s Not a Surplus!

Google the definition of surplus and here’s what you get: So, when I see articles like this one in the Marietta Times – even when they’re thoughtfully written – asking what to do with the state’s budget “surplus,” I can’t help but want to remind everyone that our basic requirements have not been met and we don’t have an excess of supply over demand.  We have crumbling bridges and roads, police and fire services reduced in communities across the state, schools cutting back on

The Damage Continues…

After a difficult day, Ohio School Boards Association deputy executive director Rob Delane was dead on in saying that state cuts have led to the increase in requests.  Read the Plain Dealer article here for a full rundown. As we’ve shown with, every single county in Ohio has seen millions in dollars of cuts to K-12 education and millions of cuts to local governments – no wonder there are levies to fill the gaps.  And even when levies pass, like one did in

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