Kasich cuts to local govs also spur levies this fall

We’ve been working to highlight how the Kasich Administration’s $1.8 billion in Ohio public education cuts have lead many school districts around the state to the November ballot seeking new or additional local tax dollars. The same thing is happening for some local governments in Ohio as well.

Chagrin Falls

This November, voters in Chagrin Falls will decide whether to increase the village’s income tax from 1.5% to 2%. The request is a direct result of cuts made in Kasich’s biennium budget.

House Bill 153 ended Ohio’s tax on estates valued at over $338,000, eliminating a tax on the wealthiest 8 percent of Ohioans, and depriving local governments of approximately $230 million in annual revenue starting in 2013. If voters approve the Chagrin Falls income tax increase, an expected $850,000 can be used on road improvements and maintenance.

Mayor Tom Brick told the Sun News:

The new money would replace the anticipated loss in revenue resulting from the repeal of Ohio’s Estate Tax next year. The village has averaged $950,000 in annual Estate Tax revenue for the last 20 years, all of which went toward capital improvements.

“That’s what we’re trying to compensate for,” he told the newspaper.

Chagrin Falls is a perfect example of how Kasich’s tax cut for Ohio’s wealthiest residents has resulted in shifting the burden to local taxpayers.

Marion

The city of Marion has been hard-hit by Kasich’s cuts to local governments and it will show on the November ballot.

Voters will be asked to decide on a county-wide sales tax increase in order to restore staffing and service cuts that were made to the sheriff’s department. According to the Marion Star:

Since 2008, the state has cut more than $3.5 million in Local Government Funds to Marion County. Combined with reduced revenues in tough economic conditions, the reductions led Marion Count commissioners to cut 15.5% from the budgets from the budgets for county departments for this year. This resulted in 12 deputies being laid off and 14 corrections officers being cut from the Multi-County Correctional Center Staff.

Also, according to the Star, Voters in the city of Marion will also decide whether to raise the city’s income tax by .25%. The increase would allow Marion to bring back laid-off police officers, add firefighters and keep fire stations open. At the end of 2011, police and fire unions agreed to contract concessions of $643,000 but layoffs were still needed. The city’s police department was forced to cut an “additional $140,000 out of its budget for 2013 because of state cuts to local government funding.”

The levies in Marion are a perfect example of how Kasich was able to push the need for revenue increases onto local taxpayers. While sitting on a surplus in the state’s rainy day fund, local taxpayers have been asked to foot the bill to help balance Kasich’s budget.