Cities can be effective engines for job creation and economic growth, but decisions to limit state revenue sharing programs and other policy changes put communities in a position to make difficult choices between continuing to provide basic services and investments in talent attraction and job creation. The growing opiate crisis is also straining municipal budgets, straining safety forces, public health services and our courts.
There is a clear correlation between public safety and economic development. A reduction in violent crime, for example, not only reduces costs for cities, but it also improves home vales.
Utilizing tax incentive tools to stimulate economic growth and development is more challenging when city budgets are constantly strained.
With limited capacity, cities are struggling to maintain existing infrastructure. Improved budgetary stability would give cites the opportunity to invest in current and future infrastructure needs.
The Mayors Alliance will focus on the future of Ohio’s cities, but it’s impossible to talk about our challenges and opportunities without addressing the impacts of state budget cuts. Over the last ten years, the Local Government Fund disbursements have been significantly reduced from $647 million in 2004 to $365 million in 2015. The top 30 Ohio cities are losing an estimated $215 million a year as a result of state funding cuts and policy changes. These policy and revenue-sharing changes hurt cities and limit our economic growth.