Several municipalities and townships have recently requested that county commissioners share the proceeds of revenue from casino gambling. They do this not out of greed, but out of necessity.
Our governor and legislature have made deep and painful cuts to local communities that are now taking their toll. These are funds that were previously used to provide police and fire protection, road repair and snow and ice removal. Basic services that we have taken for granted for many generations are at risk of disappearing. Coupled with the devastating cuts to our schools, we can most certainly expect an onslaught of new real estate tax levies.
Support of our local communities by the state has a long history in Ohio. Back in 1934, towns all over this state were suffering. At the same time, the state was attempting to pass a statewide sales tax.
Unable to meet the basic obligations to their citizens, local governments reached a compromise with the state. In return for passing the sales tax, the state would help local communities by offsetting the costs of providing public services. Then Gov. George White, in signing Ohio's sales tax into law stated, "our schools and local governments will be saved from bankruptcy and chaos in the year 1935."
Until now, every previous governor and legislature has honored their promise to our communities. This legislature, however, has passed the buck onto us. I believe it is irresponsible leadership to divert revenue intended for local communities without corresponding reductions in the sales tax.
I don't expect the commissioners will share their gambling revenue, but I certainly can't fault our community leaders for asking. They only want to serve their constituents in a responsible manner. At a time when we should be encouraging job growth and courting new businesses to make this county their home, we are left praying for a mild winter, lest our roads crumble even further.
Nick Barborak, candidate for state representative