The nonprofit economic policy group Policy Matters Ohio released a report last month that found that cuts in state aid to local governments amounted to a little more than $1 billion for calendar years 2012 and 2013 — a “nearly 50 percent reduction from 2010 and 2011,” according to a press release from the group. The report provides an in-depth analysis of county-level data on cuts and descriptions of the “damage done,” including “slashed services, closed facilities and layoffs,” the release said. The report found that the biggest cuts in state funding to local governments came from the Local Government Fund (LGF), a program that provides general operating funds to communities, and “reimbursements that compensated for local property taxes eliminated during the past decade,” the release said.
The funding cuts resulted from budget decisions made in 2011 by Gov. John Kasich and the state legislature eliminating a projected $8 billion budget shortfall without raising state taxes. Columbus Business First reports that Kasich will present the next biennial budget plan by early March, and that some local government officials “fear additional funding reductions are in the works.” For more, read the Columbus Business First story or this Dayton Business Journal story.