June 28 meeting seeks input on Local Government Fund formula

BATAVIA, Ohio – A meeting with local jurisdictions to discuss the apportionment of the Local Government Fund for 2019-23 will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, June 28, at the Engineer’s Office, 2381 Clermont Center Drive.

Township trustees from throughout Clermont County and elected representatives of the county’s cities and villages are expected to attend. County Commissioners and members of the Clermont County Budget Commission will also attend.

Ohio’s Local Government Fund (LGF) is funded with general tax receipts of the state, and is distributed back to counties and cities in Ohio. The amount of the LGF is authorized in the state’s biennial budget.

Since Gov. John Kasich came into office, the Local Government Fund has been cut by 45%, according to reports. For 2018-19, the Local Government Fund is $381.8 million compared to $694 million in 2010-11.

Currently, Clermont County and local governments within it are expected to receive $2.5 million in total from the Local Government Fund. Under the current formula for allocating funds within the county, approximately $1.22 million of the $2.5 million goes to the county and $1.29 million goes to local jurisdictions, including Milford and Loveland, townships and villages. Distributions from the state are received every month.

Ohio law requires that distribution be based on either a statutory formula, or an alternative formula that is agreed upon by the governmental jurisdictions. County Auditor Linda Fraley, in a presentation to the Board of County Commissioners on June 13, said that Clermont County had long used an alternative formula that is reviewed and changed, if needed, at least once every five years.

Under the law, a vote must be held at least every five years to determine the alternative formula that will allocate the Local Government Fund revenues between the county, and the cities, villages, and townships within its borders. This formula must be approved by the Board of County Commissioners; the legislative authority of the largest city in the county – in this case, Milford City Council; and a majority of the boards of township trustees and village councils in Clermont County. The BCC has one vote, Milford has one vote, and other jurisdictions have one vote.

The meeting on June 28 will allow the townships and municipalities to hear any recommendations for alternative allocation formulas and attempt to gain a consensus on a formula that all can take back for approvals.