Ohio cities, schools in crossfire of budget debate

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio’s cities and villages, counties and school districts are like frogs. If they’re healthy, the overall environment is healthy.

The head of the Ohio Municipal League says local governments still aren’t hopping, but they do feel less like they’re sinking.

Hit by a national recession and significant state budget cuts, local communities and schools have laid off staff, cut services, closed parks, raised sports fees, even held bake sales to make ends meet.

This year, dozens of cities are seeing improved tax collections. That’s after deep cuts to their state tax outlay and to the local government fund, which was cut in half in the last state budget.

Policy Matters Ohio’s Wendy Patton says the Cleveland-based think tank found communities getting creative as they weather fiscal hard times.

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