The Buckeye Institute Offers Tax-Saving Alternatives to State and Local Policymakers

Mar 07, 2019

Columbus, OH – In its newest policy brief, Local Government Funding Reform: Cost-Saving Alternatives to State Revenue Sharing, The Buckeye Institute outlines six cost-saving measures and spending alternatives that would enhance the strengths and advantages that local governments offer their constituents, while reducing the fiscal burdens that are often placed on state resources and taxpayers.

“Ohioans rightly appreciate their local governments and leaders. As members of our communities, they are responsive to their constituents in ways that state and federal officials are often not,” said Greg R. Lawson, research fellow at The Buckeye Institute and author of Local Government Funding Reform. “Reducing local dependence on shared state funding today will make Ohio’s local governments more accountable and responsive, giving Ohio and her local communities a better tomorrow.”

Lawson outlined a number of cost-saving measures and spending alternatives state and local policymakers should consider to reduce the need for Ohio’s Local Government Fund. Some of the measures, as Lawson writes, have already resulted in savings for communities across Ohio.

  • Eliminate Unfunded Mandates on Local Governments. Many costs that local governments face are the result of demands made by the state. Unfunded mandates must be eliminated in order for local governments to adhere to their budgets and meet the needs of their constituents. 
  • Spend State Resources on Specific, Critical Needs. State tax dollars should be appropriately designated for local accounts specifically used to address the specific need at issue.  
  • Share State Revenues with Local Communities in Need. State policymakers should engage in revenue sharing with local governments and communities that genuinely need state assistance to provide critical goods and services to constituents.
  • Local Funding and Projects for Core Community Needs. Focusing local spending on managing and serving core needs and responsibilities will better keep local spending in line with local resources.
  • Local Governments Sharing Local Resources. Cooperative purchasing and shared government services will help local governments use taxpayer funds more effectively, making local communities less dependent on revenue-sharing from Columbus.
  • More Spending Transparency, More Local Accountability. By increasing transparency and accountability, local governments will ultimately prove more efficient and less reliant on state-collected tax dollars to meet their fiscal needs. 

Local Government Funding Reform: Cost-Saving Alternatives to State Revenue Sharing was authored by Greg R. Lawson, research fellow at The Buckeye Institute.

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