Last month, the “fact-checking” team at PolitiFact Ohio, rated as “half-true” claims by the Ohio Democratic Party that Kasich’s budget cuts had forced local cuts, layoffs and tax increases.
While they admitted there was anecdotal evidence for local impacts of state cuts, they ultimately gave it a half-true thanks in part to pushback from Kasich spokesperson Rob Nichols that the number of tax issues on the ballot were not particularly high.
But now we learn in today’s Columbus Dispatch: “More school districts than usual go to the ballot,” which reports that Central Ohio school issues will be at a seven-year high this August.
Who could see that coming?
It’s not just schools. Local Governments had a bad 2011, thanks to Kasich’s 25% cut to the Local Government Fund. But cities work on a calendar year budget, so it really only translated to a 12.5% cut, which, with improving tax collections thanks to the economic recovery, allowed them to get by without drastic cuts or tax increases. Now that the new fiscal year is here, that state cut doubles to 50%, and you’re going to see cities and counties really running out of options. Expect the headlines to get worse, not better.
PolitiFact may want to keep its eye on the August and November ballots and think about revisiting its assessment of the impact of Kasich budget cuts.
New Budget Cuts Website
Speaking of Kasich budget cuts, a great new website launched today called Cuts Hurt Ohio, where you can see the impact of state cuts to local governments and schools for each county in Ohio, paired with headlines about the impacts they’re starting to have locally.