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Politics


Cities start to challenge Ohio Gov. Kasich on lost local government funds
They say Kasich has balanced the state budgets by taking from the locals; he says it was just a small share of their budgets
Story by LEWIS WALLACE


 
P.G. Sittenfeld says Kasich took from the locals to balance the state budget.
Courtesy of Lewis Wallace
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In The Region:

Leaders from Ohio cities are traveling the state this week, calling on Republican Gov. John Kasich to restore funds to local governments. For Ohio Public Radio, WYSO’s Lewis Wallace reports municipalities are protesting the cuts they’ve seen in the last two state budgets.

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Speaking on the steps of Dayton City Hall, Cincinnati City Council member P.G. Sittenfeld targeted John Kasich for the rollbacks in local budgets.

“This is a shell game. For him to take more than a billion dollars from local communities, and then be boastful about having a billion-dollar-plus surplus, where did he get that surplus? It’s the people’s money, it’s the money that belongs to local communities.”

He argues cities and towns are forced to make up for the losses by raising local taxes.

Here's the schedule for Friday's events:

9:30AM: Toledo (lead local elected: Councilmember Lindsay Webb)

12:30PM: Cleveland (lead local elected: Council President Kevin Kelley)

2:30PM: Youngstown (lead local elected: County Commissioner Carol Rimedio-Righetti)

3:30PM: Akron (lead local elected: County Councilmember Ilene Shapiro) 

But the governor’s office says the cuts were just a small part of most city budgets—and they were necessary to keep the state’s budget balanced.

Chris Schrimpf is spokesman for the Ohio Republican Party. He says the parties differ on how to grow the economy.

“Do you do it by raising taxes, which is was the Democrats would do, or do you do it by creating jobs, which is what the governor did and what the Republican philosophy is?”

The issue of local government funds isn’t on the agenda in the Statehouse.

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