STATE OF THE VILLAGE 2013 WEST LAFAYETTE, OHIO
I am presenting the State of the Village report to you this evening using a different approach. To me, the State of the Village is a report of the status of the Village in the year past, in this case, the year 2013. My report will not follow the outline of State of the Village reports that I have presented in the past. This will be different. I think of the financial soundness as being the number one area of concern. Council and Mayor believe things have been somewhat challenging for us over the past several years, financially. I have had meetings with department supervisors in 2013 and they are aware of our fund balances and the financial projections for 2014 and after. We have managed our finances in order to finish in the black each year which gives the appearance to look sound, but from 2011 to 2013, we have lost local government fund income at the rate of approximately 50%. The local government fund started 76 years ago, during the great depression, with the initiation of Ohio’s first sales tax. Part of the original purpose of the 3% sales tax was to provide revenue sharing with local governments on essential services. This revenue sharing was a part of local governments budgeting for 76 years. We have come to rely on that funding because it has been in existence for 76 years. The average collection of local government funds from 2005 to 2010 for the village has been $51,000 per year. In 2011, the Ohio Governor’s administration proposed to cut the Local Government Fund by 25% from July 1, 2011 until June 30, 2012. This cut amounted to an approximate loss to the village of $12,000. Then they proposed a cut of another 25% again from July 1, 2012 until June 30, 2013. This amounted to another loss of an additional $11,000 to the village. In two years we have lost approximately $23,000 for our general fund, which is necessary for village operations. This loss in funds and any future cost increases in insurance premiums and utilities will affect our continued level of service. The state has also decided to do away with the estate tax, which averaged $13,000 per year income for us between 2005 and 2013. We have also lost the public utility reimbursement. These are additional reasons we need to find other means of income to sustain our way of operation of the Village that we are so used to having.