FOP/OAPFF News Release

Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio and
Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters
Call on State Legislature to Restore Local Government Funding

Columbus — While Governor Kasich is announcing his plan to raise Ohio’s tax on oil and gas production, local governments across the Buckeye State will be struggling to balance their budgets thanks in large part to Ohio’s cuts to its Local Government Fund.

The Fraternal Order of Police of Ohio and Ohio Association of Professional Fire Fighters urge the Governor and the Legislature to use this new revenue to restore the funding that has been cut from our local governments in the last state budget.

“Ohio’s villages, townships, cities and counties have been devastated by the reductions in funding from the State, services have been cut or taxes have been raised to continue those services.” said Jay McDonald, Ohio FOP President. “Our local governments are hurting.”

“Our fire fighters and police officers have been doing more with less,“ commented OAPFF President Mark Sanders “Now is the right time to restore those services, especially since the Governor has embraced this new revenue and stated that overall revenues are up.”

The combination of cuts to the local government fund, the elimination of the estate tax and accelerated phase out of the tangible personal property tax have severely reduced local governments’ ability to provide basic services without additional tax increases. These services primarily include law enforcement, fire protection and emergency medical services. “Our citizens deserve to have these services restored.” McDonald emphasized.

“The state keeps insisting that they did not raise taxes but the reality is they have created the need for a defacto tax increase by forcing local governments to do it for them,” stated Sanders.

The State of Ohio has a long history of assisting local governments with adequate and essential funding. During the Great Depression, local governments experienced grave financial difficulties. Property tax delinquencies were high. In response, in the 1930’s, the Ohio Constitution was amended to reduce un-voted property tax millage, and the state’s first sales tax was passed. The Local Government Fund was established at the same time. One of the purposes of the sales tax was to “support local government activities.” That fund initially received about 40% of the sales tax, beginning the “revenue sharing” principle between state and local governments. “This covenant has been in place since the 1930’s. This promise should be kept,” said President McDonald.

FOP.OAPFF News Release 3.12