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  Cities want a share of the tax money from the counties

The officials of Bethel Twp., New Carlisle, and city of Springfield have asked for a share of the $120,000 in Ohio casino tax money received by the commissioners of Clark County with their plea that the residents of the city are also the residents of the county. All the citizens have their particulars needs which are not being fulfilled because of many cuts in the funding programs imposed by the state. Karen Duncan, the Springfield City Commissioner favored the request by expressing that it would be an act of fairness on the part of the county to accede to the request of the cities. The New Carlisle city manager, Kim Jones also endorsed the idea and added that the tax money received by the county could be utilized by all because the expenses of the cities had gone up considerably. Moreover, the local government funds and estate taxes have also been reduced to great extent, thereby putting the residents to great inconvenience, he said. As per records made available by the Ohio Department of Taxation, an amount of $19.76 each was generated by the casinos in Cleveland and Toledo. Eighty eight counties in Ohio received fifty one percent of the funds. Though it is not mandatory for the counties to part away with the funds for smaller communities, yet Clark and Greene counties commissioners are required to do so by providing financial help to the municipalities that are affected due to reduction in the local government funds imposed by Gov. John Kasich and the lawmakers. As assessed by the state, the county could receive up to $3 million but the Administrator Nathan Kennedy and Clark County commissioners say that a single payment could not be considered as the basis for making any prediction for the sharing amount. As such, it is not possible to make any commitment, said Kennedy. He and John Federer, the Clark County Auditor jointly said that separate accounts would be maintained for keeping the casino funds that would form a part of the general fund. However the commissioners; Rick Lohnes, John Detrick and David Hartley expressed their inability for any particular plans due to uncertain generation of funds. Everything has to be discussed elaborately, said Lohnes. The idea was endorsed by Detrick who said that for making a clear assessment of the expected receipts and probable sharing amount a period of at least one year is required and that would be possible sometime in the next year. Re-election is being pursued by Detrick in November. A different view was expressed by Hartley who said that the county may not be in a position to share anything because of the shortage in the funds due to heavy expenses for moving the tenants from the Clark County Agricultural Building.
Ross McGregor, R-Springfield opined that it is not compulsory for the commissioners to part away with the funds. He added that ways could be worked out by the local governments to work jointly on the projects. He expressed that use of funds by the commissioners for assisting a specific project or support for benefits of the residents could prove more beneficial and the municipalities could negotiate for the same. He said that all the municipalities within the jurisdiction of the county must remain healthy in all respects.
No particular demands have been put forward by the area municipalities as to who much they need. However they want the same as per the number of population. Due to the reduction of $170,000 by the recent state cuts; David Phares and David Finfrock, the Bethel Twp. want a 1.5 mill levy on the November ballot. However, Nancy Brown, the township trustee did not favor the idea. The township would be at great loss due to the recent elimination of an inheritance tax and the local government funds would come down to $25,000 in 2013 from $60,000, say the trustees. Finfrock asked why all the tax money should go to the counties when we are on the verge of starvation.


   2012-08-09






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