More Than $18 Million Spent on The Buckeye Institute’s Top 10 List of Worst Capital Budget RequestsMar 05, 2018
Columbus, OH – Today, The Buckeye Institute unveiled its Top 10 Worst Capital Budget Requests of 2018, which total more than $18 million in spending. Buckeye’s review of the capital budget also found more than $85 million in pork barrel or highly localized projects that should be paid for with private donations or through local efforts.
“As our Top 10 list shows, once again, Ohio’s capital budget is riddled with pork projects that benefit narrow local interests and not larger state needs. If these, and other pork projects in the budget, were funded using local or private dollars, as they should be, Ohio could have at least $85 million more that it could spend on pressing state priorities, save, or better yet, return to taxpayers,” said Greg R. Lawson, research fellow at The Buckeye Institute. “Policymakers should do more to heed our call to focus the capital budget on strengthening Ohio’s physical and democratic infrastructure and move away from projects of predominately local interest. Simply put, it is hard to see how it benefits someone in Youngstown for Cincinnati to get a soccer stadium or how people in Cleveland benefit from renovations to COSI.”
Buckeye’s Top 10 Worst Capital Budget Requests of 2018
- $400,000 to build government owned broadband networks in North Olmsted, Southern Miami Valley, and Fairborn. The Buckeye Institute has shown these networks would be better built by the private sector;
- $5 million for the COSI Connection Corridor, a retail and restaurant space, in Columbus;
- $1 million for two Columbus Zoo exhibits, which is partially funded by Franklin County property taxes;
- $1 million for an atrium at the North Market that will connect it to the 35-story office and residential Market Tower;
- $800,000 for six splash pads around the state;
- $2.5 million to expand the Cleveland Museum of Natural History;
- $1.3 million to renovate the Blossom Music Center in Cuyahoga Falls;
- $4 million for a new Major League Soccer stadium in Cincinnati. The money will only be released if Cincinnati is awarded an MLS expansion team;
- $1.2 million for renovations to Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park; and
- $1 million for renovations to the Toledo Museum of Art.
In its report in Principled Spending: Using Ohio’s Capital Budget to Benefit Ohioans, Buckeye outlined three principles to guide policymakers – constrain the growth of state government, eliminate corporate and special interest welfare, and focus spending on the core functions of state government. The Buckeye Institute also urged policymakers to use the 2018 capital budget to strengthen Ohio’s physical and democratic infrastructure. A review of the capital budget shows that more than $1 billion is being used to strengthen Ohio’s physical infrastructure and there is no money in the capital budget being used to strengthen Ohio’s democratic infrastructure.