COLUMBUS, Ohio – In response to the Ohio Auditor of the State’s Financial Health Indicators report, which states that most county officials are successfully managing finances, the County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) and the County Auditors Association of Ohio (CAAO) recognize that the revenue losses and rising costs experienced by counties could be mitigated with a stronger state-county partnership.

“Counties are in the difficult position of balancing unprecedented revenue losses with escalating costs,” said CCAO President and Lake County Commissioner Daniel Troy. “This report shows that county officials have had to make tough decisions to stay financially healthy by reducing services, delaying overdue capital projects and even raising taxes as a last resort to continue vital service delivery to our citizens.”

“Tough challenges lie ahead for counties because of the loss of $351 million in annual revenue, causing mounting pressure due to delayed capital and infrastructure investments as well as increased expenses,” added Troy, citing the opioid epidemic, its impact on increased child protection demands and maintaining county jails as main drivers of those increased expenses.

“Federal and state policies enacted over the last decade have resulted in the dramatic loss of the Medicaid managed care organization sales tax, severe reductions in the Local Government Fund (LGF) and the phase out of the tangible personal property tax (TPP) which have eliminated $351 million per year in county revenue,” said Jon Slater, CAAO president and Fairfield County auditor.

“We are looking for a stronger state-county partnership which translates into addressing counties’ loss revenue, providing assistance in protecting children and families, supporting our public safety operations, funding state-mandated services and investing in our local infrastructure,” Slater said.

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.

The County Auditors Association of Ohio was founded in 1867 for the express purpose of promoting and protecting the interests of taxpayers in the State of Ohio and improving the administration of county government.