Key Impacts

As we look back on the changes and policies that the OMA influenced in our first year, it is important to note that while there was progress made, there is still much work to do. The budget process still resulted in several policies that will have adverse impacts on cities, but that is why we are committed to stay engaged and enhance the advocacy efforts of Ohio’s biggest cities.

It is also important to note that many local government allies – like the Ohio Municipal League, several municipal lobbyists, and regional mayors’ groups – all contributed to the state legislative changes noted below. Our continued cooperation is critically important to help change the paradigm around the value of local governments at the Ohio Statehouse.

As mayors focused on getting things done, it’s important for our organization to be results oriented. Here’s a summary of OMA’s successes in our first year:

Stopped SERP change

Prevented loss of revenue in the state legislative lame duck session by persuading the Ohio Senate to remove a provision that would have prevented cities from taxing Supplemental Executive Retirement Plan (SERPs).

Improved TIF bill (HB 235)

The OMA pushed hard for changes to HB 235, which would have frozen property values of land under development. The changes allowed for local control and ensured that TIFs remain effective economic development tools.

Influenced key policy proposals in state budget

OMA advocacy, outreach, testimony, and media relations work all helped reverse several key policy decisions that would have hurt cities. These include:

  • Prevented further reductions to the LGF. The 1.66 rate of the County Undivided Local Government Fund (CULGF) was not reduced this budget.
    Stopped “capacity-based” changes to the LGF formula that would have redistributed nearly $100 million away from cities with a higher taxing capacity.
  • Curbed the original centralized collection plan from a mandatory state take-over of all municipal net-profits filings, to a voluntary option for businesses.
  • Maintained local control on lead abatement by removing amendment that would have pre-empted cities from regulating lead-abatement activities.
  • Pushed for veto of issue impacting Columbus water services. Following a veto request letter, Gov. Kasich vetoed a provision that would have withheld LGF to Columbus for non-compliance of new rules for water and sewer services.

Outlined framework for a more coordinated and comprehensive approach to confront Ohio’s ongoing opioid epidemic

In a letter to Gov. Kasich, the Ohio Mayors Alliance outlined an innovative set of recommendations to strengthen our collective response to the drug overdose crisis. The letter serves as a starting point for improved dialogue between state and local leaders about how they can work together to tackle some of Ohio’s biggest challenges.