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Government & Politics

Ohio Public Transit Systems Will Get A Small Funding Boost After Huge Revenue Loss

photo of COTA bus
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SHUTTERSTOCK

State and county leaders have been trying to figure out how local governments can patch up a big budget hole. The loss in revenue occurred when the federal government took away the ability to tax Medicaid managed-care providers. Ohio lawmakers reached a compromise but it falls far short of filling the gap.

House and Senate members agreed to divvy up $50 million as a one-time fund meant to help local governments transition away from the now abolished tax.

Transit authorities attached piggyback taxes to that tax, which brought in about $207 million annually.

Democratic Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko says the fix isn’t enough to prevent cuts to local public transportation.

“There’s gonne be some of our constituents who aren’t going to have access, whether the people with disabilities or senior citizens or students and that’s gonna cause problems," Yuko says.

Lawmakers had tried to ask the feds for a higher tax in the state budget, but Gov. John Kasich vetoed that. The General Assembly already passed another one-time fix providing $207 million, but it’s just for next year.