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Huron County has lost $5.2 million in local government funding since 2008

• Sep 9, 2016 at 7:00 PM

Huron County Auditor Roland Tkach this week assessed the current state of local government funds and the importance of those funds to local entities.

The county, cities, villages and townships all receive local government funds from the state. 

“Absolutely, it’s a key part of their revenue stream,” Tkach said about the funds.

Though the funds have increased the past three years, the overall reduction in local government funds since 2008 has greatly affected the townships.

For example, Norwalk Township received $18,914 in 2008, compared to $9,451 for its 2017 allocation.

Since 2008, Norwalk Township has experienced a total loss of $64,907 in local government funds.

Tkach said due to the loss of local government funds and the elimination of the estate tax, many townships have been pushed to place more levies on the ballot.

Huron County has lost $5.2 million in local government funds since 2008, while the City of Norwalk has seen a reduction of about $2.1 million.

For 2017, Huron County is set to receive $467,770 and Norwalk will be the recipient of $312,507 in local government funds.

Local government funds were cut by 29 percent in 2012 and 23 percent in 2013.

Local government funds have existed since the mid-1930s when the state sales tax was created. The local government fund is now composed of a number of different taxes. The local government funds are distributed among the 88 counties through each county’s budget commission.

Tkach reminds county residents the casino funds were not made to supplement the loss of local government funds, but were established “in addition to” local government funds.

The auditor said the casinos were oversold and have underproduced.

“Huron County was supposed to receive $1 million per year from the casinos,” he said. “It has averaged above $600,000.

Local libraries are set to receive a total of about $1.9 million in public library funds from the state.

The Huron County Community Library will receive $685,564, while the Norwalk Public Library will receive $620,721.

Tkach said the Ohio Legislature continues to step up and support libraries.

“They see the importance of the library system here in Ohio,” he said, adding that libraries are much more now than a place where a person can check out a book.

“They are now media centers,” he said.

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