With the Governor of Ohio releasing his proposed budget this week, there’s been a lot of studying, interpreting and calculating what it all means to Kent.
It’s really too early to tell yet but we’re definitely trying to focus on understanding what’s happening to the local government funds and also higher education funding since both of those areas have the most direct impacts on the City’s bottom line.
The Governor’s proposal calls for planned cuts to the local government funds, somewhere in the neighborhood of 20% to 25% in 2012 with a similar cut proposed for 2013. Kent recieves more state local government funds than any other City in Portage County so this is going to be a pretty hard hit to absorb.
Kent gets about $1.24 million in local government funds so a 20% to 25% cut would result in a loss of $248,000 to $310,000 from our budget. After the millions in cuts that we’ve already made over the last 5 years (personnel cuts and efficiency improvements) another quarter of a million dollars is going to be hard to find. But we’ll find ways to make it work.
The Governor suggests that local governments can offset these hits by reducing their costs which he believes will be easier once he eliminates collective bargaining and prevailing wage requirements. It’s still early in the process yet so it’s hard to predict what the final budget bill will look like but at this point we’re anticipating taking a hit, the question will be how big a hit.