Friday, October 12, 2001

Ohio may cut aid to localities


Slumping revenue tightens fund

By Dan Klepal
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Tough economic times are likely to get tougher for local governments throughout Ohio.

        State officials, trying to make up revenues that are off by $200 million in the first quarter of the fiscal year alone, may cut money from a “local government fund” sent to county, city and other municipal governments every year.

        The state already has told local officials that the amount of money they will receive from the local fund will remain the same as last year. That means $5 million less than Hamilton County was expecting.

        Now, the fund could be cut between 3 percent and 6 percent because of slumping revenues from income, sales, public utility and corporate excise taxes.

        Ohio Senate President Dick Finan, R-Evendale, said even a 6 percent cut across the board — excluding untouchable items such as education and Medicaid — may not solve the budget crisis.

        “We were hemorrhaging before Sept. 11,” Mr. Finan said. “Now we're in an unprecedented economic situation. You start losing $200 million per quarter, and we're talking real money.'

        If the fund is cut it would cost Hamilton County, which receives $24 million annually from the fund, an additional $1.5 million.

        “Considering other things are already down, it ain't going to be fun,” Commissioner John Dowlin said. He said $1 million amounts to a one-percent wage increase for employees.

        Keeping the fund at last year's level has already cost Butler County $164,000. Butler County usually gets about $5.4 million from the fund.

        “It's going to be hard to absorb on top of everything else,” said Butler County Administrator Derek Conklin. “It's not like people are asking for fewer services.”

        Warren County is in the same boat. Administrator Bob Price said he was expecting $3.3 million from the fund. That would remain at $3 million for his county before any cuts.

       



E-mail clicks with armed forces abroad
Other police forces to be models
Chattanooga pedestrian bridge a hit
Bridge closed; to be adapted for pedestrians
Assault investigated
Lecturer stresses cooperation in U.S.
Luken a cheerleader
Luken housing stance stresses owning homes
Luken loses AFL-CIO backing
Owner of deli beaten in robbery
Speaker supports hiring outside city
Trial over morgue photographs nears conclusion
Tristate A.M. Report
HOWARD: Some Good News
RADEL: Tragic courage
Court reporter challenges judges
Mason outlines contingency plan
Miami U. to use network
Media campaign to exhort voters
Order issued against agent
Senate OKs aviation security bill
- Ohio may cut aid to localities
Adoption fair focuses on special kids
Adult zone studied
Firm changes route of Ky. gas pipeline
Kentucky News Briefs
Parking part of jail debate
Police arrest 14 in Pike County OxyContin case
Small-town editors win award