COLUMBUS – The Darke County Commissioners are joining the County Commissioners Association of Ohio to call for a stronger partnership between state and county government as they released “Stronger Counties. Stronger Partnership. Stronger Ohio.,” a briefing guide detailing county funding needs and asks that need to be addressed in future state budgets and legislation.
The CCAO board met recently with both major gubernatorial candidates (Richard Cordray and Mike DeWine) and their respective lieutenant governor candidates (Betty Sutton and Jon Husted) to brief them on issues confronting counties and how to work together for a bright Ohio future.
“Ohio’s 88 counties serve as branch administrative offices of the state by providing vital services. Counties are given this specific responsibility but limited authority by the Ohio Revised Code,” CCAO President Daniel Troy said. “CCAO was very pleased with the meetings with both gubernatorial candidates, as we look to foster an improved and stronger relationship between state and county government. Collaboration and cooperation between the two government entities must exist to strengthen counties and improve the well-being of all Ohioans.”
State polices enacted over the last decade have placed counties in the difficult position of balancing revenue loss with escalating costs. The loss of the Medicaid managed care organization sales tax, severe reductions in the Local Government Fund and the phase out of the tangible personal property tax has eliminated approximately $351 million per year in county revenue statewide.
“The state’s revenue policy decisions, combined with our growing costs, have depleted reserves and delayed capital projects. It can be a struggle to provide the services that Ohioans need,” Darke County Commissioner Matt Aultman said. “We must have the state’s financial commitment to ensure we have the necessary revenue to provide county residents with the services that are critical to maintain necessary county services.”
The County Commissioners Association of Ohio advances effective county government for Ohio through legislative advocacy, education and training, technical assistance and research, quality enterprise service programs, and greater citizen awareness and understanding of county government.