Rise of local levies in wake of state budget cuts getting media coverage

From The Columbus Dispatch today:

Two-thirds of the school levies on the Nov. 6 ballot are seeking additional local revenue to support public education, the highest percentage of new tax issues in a general election in at least the past decade.

The rate of new money requests has steadily climbed since 2003 as school districts struggle to offset rising costs and the loss of state and federal funding to education.

But if history proves to be an accurate indicator, most will fail.

Statewide, there are 194 school levies on the November ballot, including 123 requests for additional funding. The others seek to renew or continue existing taxes, according to election records maintained by the Ohio secretary of state.

Our November 2012 School Levies project is essentially pointing out the same facts as noted in the Dispatch. We believe that any heroic claims of tax cutting and budget trimming by political leaders at the state level is simply hogwash when the burden is simply shifted down to the local level. Aside from schools, many Ohio local governments are also beginning to feel the ill effects of the phase out of the estate tax and severe reductions in state support for local governments. We’ve written about three cases – here and here.