State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) today announced a new plan to assist struggling communities hit hardest by Governor Kasich’s budget cuts and tax shifting policies over the past several years. Since taking office, Gov. Kasich cut over $1.7 billion in local community funding. Over 70 cities have lost at least $1 million each year due to Kasich’s budgeting and tax decisions, and 12 small cities have lost at least $2 million each, per year.


The lawmakers’ proposal would transfer money from the Budget Stabilization Fund, also known as the Rainy Day Fund, to 31 communities on the state auditor’s Fiscal Distress List that received lower Local Government Fund (LGF) allocations than what they received in Fiscal Year (FY) 2008.


“Ohio is currently sitting on a $2 billion surplus while so many of our local communities are hurting. Drastic budget cuts overseen by Governor Kasich have left local communities with fewer resources available to provide essential services such as police and fire, infrastructure investment and public education,” said Smith. “Although some might say the sun is shining for the state of Ohio, it has definitely been raining for many of these local communities. If we are not going to help these 31 communities in a time of fiscal distress, then what is the purpose of the Rainy Day Fund?”


Under the proposed bill, local communities in fiscal distress would receive a portion of $25,860,726 – the total amount they would have received under LGF allocation levels from Fiscal Year 2008 – from the Rainy Day Fund.


“The Budget Stabilization Funds are intended to be a resource for Ohio communities in times of economic distress,” said Boggs. “Well, we know that these 31 communities are in distress, in large part because of the severe budget cuts imposed by the state. By utilizing about one-percent of the money stockpiled in the Rainy Day Fund, we can help restore the communities hardest hit by budget cuts and provide some much-needed stability for the communities that Ohioans call home.”


The current balance of the Rainy Day Fund is over $2 billion.


The LGF is an over 80-year old revenue sharing program that has been essential to helping local communities deliver basic public services that maintain property values, protect safety and enhance the quality of life.

 

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Lawmakers Push Solution To Stabilize 31 Fiscally Distressed Communities Hit Hard By Kasich's Budget Cuts

 

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Kristin Boggs (D-Columbus) today announced a new plan to assist struggling communities hit hardest by Governor Kasich’s budget cuts and tax shifting policies over the past several years. Since taking office, Gov. Kasich cut over $1.7 billion in local community funding. Over 70 cities have lost at least $1 million each year due to Kasich’s budgeting and tax decisions, and 12 small cities have lost at least $2 million each, per year.



 
 

Cleveland-area Lawmakers Say Ohio Could "amp Up" Economic Growth Through Music Industry

 

State Reps. Kent Smith (D-Euclid) and Sarah LaTourette (R-Bainbridge) today announced a bi-partisan effort to create jobs and drive economic growth by making Ohio a destination for the recording industry. The Ohio Sound Recording Investor Tax Credit, also known as OhioSounds, will work to attract more of the almost $7 billion in annual music industry revenue to the state. 

“Ohio is the birthplace of legendary musicians, unforgettable songs and ‘Rock N’ Roll’,” said Rep. Smith. “OhioSounds honors our proud legacy and works to cultivate a winning model moving forward. Ohio can become a destination for musicians, producers and industry leaders who will create jobs and strengthen our local economies. The OhioSounds tax credit will solidify our commitment to Ohio’s musical heritage and create new music that will provide the soundtrack to our lives.”

“Much like the Ohio film tax credit, this legislation seeks to incentivize investment in Ohio and create jobs in a dynamic industry,” Representative LaTourette stated. “Northeast Ohio has seen quite an investment in response to the film tax credit, with major motion pictures filmed on the streets of Cleveland and throughout our region. Given our history as the birthplace of Rock n’ Roll, it just makes sense to extend that incentive to the music industry and embrace our heritage as musical innovators.”