Kasich’s Proposed Budget Cuts Local Government Funding

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A birds-eye view of the Ohio Statehouse. Gov. John Kasich's budget would have a substantial impact on state aid to local governments. The budget calls for a 25 percent reduction for the first year of the new budget and another 25 percent for the second year.(Photo: fusionpanda (flickr))
A birds-eye view of the Ohio Statehouse. Gov. John Kasich's budget would have a substantial impact on state aid to local governments. The budget calls for a 25 percent reduction for the first year of the new budget and another 25 percent for the second year.(Photo: fusionpanda (flickr))

Gov. John Kasich’s budget would have a substantial impact on state aid to local governments. The budget calls for a 25 percent reduction for the first year of the new budget and another 25 percent for the second year.

For months, Central Ohio city, town and village administrators have known the budget cuts were coming. So while deep, a 50 percent budget cut over two years was not totally unexpected. Upper Arlington stands to lose $1 million over the next two years.

“The sky is falling,” said Upper Arlington city manager Virginia Barney.

Barney is only half joking. She said the state money is sorely needed.

“It goes into our general fund, which then supports our safety forces, senior center, recreation programs, capital improvements; it really is an integral part of our services to our community,” Barney said.

Groveport now receives $230,000 in state aid. Village administrator Steve Morris said adjustments will have to be made.

“Any cut that you have, you have to go back and make changes to the budget due to the 25 percent cut,” Morris said. “It’s no different than managing your own personal affairs.” Dublin’s city manager said she’s confident budget reserves will help her city weather the cuts. Marsha Grigsby said state funding only makes up about 2 percent of Dublin’s budget.

“We recognize that there would be adjustments or reductions in local government this year and that’s one of the reasons we maintain a general fund reserve so that we’re in a position to address changes like this when there is either a downturn in revenue or a reduction from an outside source,” Grigsby said.

In Grove City, where state funding also amounts to about 2 percent of the city’s budget, finance director Mike Turner said he sees the cuts as survivable.

“I think that would be manageable,” Turner said. “Any loss of revenue is a concern.”

And in Worthington, spokeswoman Anne Brown said the city has also been preparing for a continued decrease in revenue.

“You know the overall downturn in the economy and the reduction in income taxes that we’ve been bringing in the past several years. You know we’ve had to make some reductions already,” Brown said. “So we’re in a pretty good position as far as that goes.”

Columbus reportedly stands to lose $5 million next year in state aid.

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