The County Commissioners Association of Ohio (CCAO) today released the 2021-2022 CCAO Legislative Platform, a comprehensive guide that details CCAO’s priorities and positions on a wide array of issues facing county government.
“Our platform is a crucial tool that allows us open a dialogue with Ohio’s lawmakers on important county issues as we continue to build a stronger state-county partnership with the DeWine Administration and the Ohio General Assembly,” said CCAO President Tim Bubb.
Additionally, this biennium’s platform highlights three key areas that, if enacted, will help create stronger counties and a stronger Ohio.
Revenue stability and fulfilling state funding responsibilities
The state must dedicate adequate resources to counties to ensure that counties, as the state’s agent, can successfully accomplish the state’s mission and directives at the local level. This requires the state to:
- Assume full funding responsibility for indigent defense.
- Ensure that counties do not bear the financial burden of implementing the federal Family First Prevention Services Act. This looming federal requirement threatens to further strain county resources, which still constitute the largest share of funding for the child welfare system.
- Restore the LGF to its previous statutory level of 3.68% of the General Revenue Fund (GRF) taxes, creating an additional $145 million annually for counties. Currently the LGF receives 1.68% of GRF taxes, as compared to 3.68% in 2008.
County government must be given an even greater role in promoting a climate that encourages strong economic development. Modern, well maintained public infrastructure, coupled with a dependable skilled workforce are vital when it comes to attracting businesses to Ohio’s communities. The state can partner with counties to create a job friendly environment by focusing on these top policy priorities:
- Expand access to broadband technology to unserved and underserved areas and ensure that counties have a seat at the table in shaping future expansion efforts.
- Ensure that counties help to set the agenda for JobsOhio and other state economic development agencies.
- Address the needs of modern water and sewer infrastructure.
Preservation of the sales tax base
Protecting county resources by preserving the sales tax base is critical for county fiscal stability. The sales tax is the most important revenue source for both the state and for counties, yet the General Assembly continually carves out new exemptions from the sales tax. Ohio must protect the existing sales tax base from further erosion and carve outs.
Visit ccao.org for more information on CCAO’s legislative platform and policy priorities.