Leave LGF Alone

ENOUGH IS enough.

The state has drastically cut Local Government Funding in Ohio. It has created hardships throughout the state, especially here in Eastern Ohio. Local communities and government entities have come to rely on LGF monies.

But that funding source has been recently drying up. That is a disturbing scenario.

Unfortunately, the situation may worsen. That is because the Ohio Department of Taxation has notified county auditors that their estimated revenues for calendar year 2014 have probably changed.

State Rep. Jack Cera (D-Bellaire) said many counties will suffer another blow to their respective LGF allocations due to these additional cuts.

Department of Taxation officials note the change in the estimated figure is due to the impact tax law changes will have in the state budget bill.

We view additional LGF cutbacks as outrageous. Especially when the state has a rainy day fund of $2 billion.

Cera takes offense to additional cuts. We agree.

“One of the reasons I opposed House Bill 59 (state budget bill) was the process that brought us last-minute tax law changes without being aware of the consequences,” said Rep. Cera. “Another reason was the failure to restore cuts to local governments and libraries. Both reasons have now come together as our local communities are cut further due to these last minute changes.”

Although the amount of reductions is not set in stone, Rep. Cera said” it is well known that the fund is likely to vary by an unknown degree of up to 4 percent.”

LGF money is utilized for all types of services. Libraries, especially, take a hard hit when LGF monies are cut. They may be looking at even more hardships.

Rep. Cera has championed passionately that funding needed to be restored to the local government fund. He even introduced HB 17, urging the Ohio legislature to take funding levels back to 2005.

We are in full agreement with Cera’s thinking. HB 17 is much more palatable than HB 59. LGF monies are precious, they should be preserved.