Local mayors talk Ohio state taxes - 13abc.com Toledo (OH) News, Weather and Sports

Local mayors talk Ohio state taxes

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Governor John Kasich's budget plan released Monday was heavy on changes in taxes.  Local northwest Ohio mayors say some changes have been good and some have created challenges.

All of Ohio's municipalities have seen huge cuts in state revenue sharing.   Several mayors told 13abc reporter Bill Hormann today, some changes could help them better serve their residents.

Mayors of several local bedroom communities around Toledo talked about the challenges they've faced over the last two years.  Two years ago, the governor cut in half the money Columbus sends to Ohio's 550-municipalities.  The state also eliminated the estate tax.

In Maumee, that's meant a loss of nearly $1-million.  Mayor Richard Carr said, "The loss of interest on our investments.  The loss of state and local funding for us.  We're doing everything we can and we're still at a deficit."

Sylvania has lost $2-million because of state cuts and lower interest rates.  But the budget is balanced without tax hikes.  Mayor Craig Stough told 13abc he thought the governor's tax cut plan would work, adding, "That'll bring people back to Ohio.  And if they come back to Ohio, they'll want to be in northwest Ohio because we have the assets here for business to do a real good job."

State lawmakers do have money available for local governments but the state dictates how towns should spend that money.  That forces places like Oregon to hire consultants to justify projects for funding, according to mayor Michael Seferian.  "We've been successful at getting some of our share by having the consultants in here and having good applications."

Some smaller towns cannot afford to spend money to collect state money but Columbus also wants to create one uniform tax system by collecting local tax revenue for all 550-municipalities and keeping some it. 

That worries Perrysburg mayor Nelson Evans who said, "If they take some of our revenue away from our local income tax and how we collect our income tax that could have a huge impact more so then the local government funds and the estate tax."

Ohio may have a $1-billion Rainy Day Fund.  Some of the mayors say that money should be used to fund schools or to re-instate the revenue sharing.

And one mayor told 13abc, the best way the state can help his town is to help fund regional projects.

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