Commissioners approve a new distribution for Local Government Fund

BATAVIA, Ohio (May 23, 2019) – At Session on May 22, the Clermont County Board of Commissioners approved a new formula for the distribution of revenue from the Local Government Fund that will go into effect in 2020.

The formula was proposed by the Clermont County Township Association and will give townships a bigger share of funds, with cities and villages getting a smaller share. “A lot of hard work went into this and you’re to be commended for it,” said Commissioner David Painter, President of the BCC.

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. In 2018, the LGF for all of Clermont County was $2.78 million. Distributions from the State of Ohio are received every month.

For years, Clermont County’s Local Government Fund was distributed through a formula that gave 48.545% of the proceeds to the county, and the remaining amount to cities, townships and villages in Clermont County, with the City of Milford, as Clermont County’s largest city, receiving the largest amount.

This alternative formula, as it was called, was reviewed every five years. Three votes were required to approve the alternative formula every five years: the Board of County Commissioners and the City of Milford each had a vote. The third vote came from the remaining municipal jurisdictions plus the townships, of which the majority ruled.

In 2018, the Commissioners passed a one-year extension to the 2012-2017 Alternative Formula.

A change to the Ohio Revised Code now allows townships to exclude the largest city in a county from having its own vote. This exclusion must be approved by the townships annually. Each of the 14 townships in Clermont County voted to exclude Milford from the approval process.

Under the new formula, the county will still receive 48.545% of the LGF. Of the remaining funds, 25% will be shared equally among all municipalities and townships. Seventy-five percent of the remaining funds will be distributed on a per capita basis, with Union and Miami townships receiving the largest amount. The new formula will be phased in over three years.

Under the current formula, the City of Milford (population 6,900) receives approximately $164,000 and Union Township (population 50,000) receives about $140,000 this year. In 2020, Milford will receive an estimated $125,000 and Union Township $178,000.

Commissioner Ed Humphrey recused himself from the Commissioners’ vote on the new formula. His son works as a police officer in Loveland, which is affected by the change in funding.

Before the formula can go into effect, the townships need to revise their resolutions and vote to exclude Milford for one year, not five years as originally proposed, by Aug. 1.

At several Sessions over the last couple of months, township, city and village officials spoke before Commissioners stating why they thought the formula should change, or why an extension of the current formula was needed to allow for more discussion.

“This particular process has been a long process,” Commissioner Painter said at Session. “One of the great things that happened is that people now understand the Local Government Fund.”

He added, “The previous formula could not be supported by good mathematics. There was a feeling out there that the formula was not fair.”

Both he and Commissioner Claire Corcoran said that because townships must vote annually on whether to give Milford a vote, this allows local governments – cities, villages and townships – to continue discussions and come up with other changes to the formula.