The Montgomery County Board of County Commissioners is expressing outrage and grave concern over the State of Ohio’s inability to find a solution that provides complete and permanent replacement of the Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) sales tax revenue for counties and transit authorities.
Montgomery County will lose almost $9 million in revenue to its general operating fund. As a result, all non-mandated programs are in jeopardy of being cut including discretionary programs under Criminal Justice, the County’s Economic Development/Government Equity (ED/GE) Program, and arts funding.
“If the State of Ohio chooses not to find a solution, this revenue loss will have devastating effects on programs that directly impact our citizens and businesses,” said County Commission President Dan Foley. “We will have no choice but to eliminate critical programs that drive hundreds of millions of dollars of new investment in Montgomery County.”
Each year, the Montgomery County Commissioners set aside dollars from sales tax revenue for economic development projects. Since its creation in 1992, the ED/GE funding has assisted in creating almost 24,000 private sector jobs and retained over 30,000 private sector jobs. ED/GE has funded 461 projects across 27 jurisdictions in Montgomery County with $2.8 billion in leveraged investment.
“Our citizens and our businesses deserve better from the State of Ohio,” added County Administrator Joseph P. Tuss. “There is no excuse for forcing local communities to carry this burden and eliminate programs that create jobs and improve the quality of life for our citizens.”
Also at risk is the County’s $500,000 annual funding for the Montgomery County Arts & Cultural District. In the Dayton region alone, the direct economic impact of arts and cultural organizations is over $95 million and supports more than 5,000 jobs.
Montgomery County has already made drastic cuts to programs and employees. In 2001, the County’s General Fund budget was almost $151 million with just over 1,600 employees. The 2017 Adopted General Fund Budget is less than it was 16 years ago at $150.2 million and 1,324 employees. Now, the State of Ohio’s actions are forcing Montgomery County to cut another $9 million from its budget.
Medicaid MCO sales tax revenue helped to partially fill a revenue gap resulting from the state’s reduction of Local Government Fund distributions. In 2012-2013, Montgomery County, along with every other county in Ohio, saw a 50% reduction in the state’s Local Government Fund distributions.
“It is absolutely unacceptable that the state’s Executive Budget fully replaces its own lost revenue, but only provides counties and transit authorities a one-time allocation,” said County Commissioner Debbie Lieberman. “Once again, the State of Ohio is right-sizing its budget on the backs of local governments.”
The Montgomery County Commissioners fully supported Republican Senator Matt Dolan’s amendment to provide fiscal stability for counties. Unfortunately, the Senate’s omnibus amendment to the budget released yesterday did NOT include language that would address the loss of the Medicaid MCO sales tax for counties and transit authorities.
“We are in constant contact with our local legislative delegation and are urging them to continue to fight for a budget that provides complete and permanent replacement of these dollars for counties and transit authorities,” said County Commissioner Judy Dodge.
Concerned citizens are being asked to contact their state legislators and urge them to protect counties from the negative effects of the Medicaid managed care sales tax loss.