Morrow County Commissioners reported on concerns for the county budget next year.
Morrow County Commissioner, Tom Whiston said that some adjustments will need to be made to county officials’ budget requests due to a federal regulation that will cut 12.7 percent of Morrow County’s annual budget, beginning July 1, 2017. This is because federal regulations will no longer allow the states to tax Medicaid managed care organizations (MCOs).
Commissioner Dick Miller stated that budget requests from county officials already exceed the projected income of the county by $2 million. The state projects that this cut will be about $480,000 for Morrow County. That means the department requests would exceed the projected county income by almost $2.5 million.
All Ohio counties will receive these sales tax losses. They will vary in percentage of sales tax according to the proportion of the Medicaid managed care sales tax collected in the county. While many counties will receive 10 – 15 percent cuts in sales tax, Delaware County will receive only a 1.8 percent loss while Vinton County will receive the largest with a 24.9 percent cut and Meigs will lose 21.7 percent. Crawford’s loss will be 12.4 percent and Marion County will be cut by 10.2 percent.
Some of the poorer, southern, Appalachian counties in the state, like Vinton have the highest percentages of the Medicaid MCOs, while the wealthier and some urban counties have a smaller percent who receive these managed benefits from Care Source, Molina and other MCOs. However, Whiston said some of the urban counties are complaining the loudest because they have much larger losses in dollar amounts – such as Cuyahoga County with an 8.2 percent loss will be losing over $21 million.
Whiston said the good news is that the slated roads improvements in Morrow County won’t be impacted by this federal regulation since their levy funding is separate. This is also true for the Sheriff’s cars, which are already covered.
The County Budget Commission will be working with the Commissioners and other county officials to certify the budget before the end of 2016. The Budget Commission consists of the Morrow County Auditor, Treasurer and County Prosecutor.
See www.policymattersOhio.org for more information on this regulation change.
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