County LGF dollars up slightly

LISBON — The two-year state budget provides additional state Local Government Fund dollars for communities, and Columbiana County will receive $100,000 more as a result.

The county budget commission this week approved the LGF distribution plan for 2020 based in part on revised figures received after the Ohio General Assembly passed the state budget in July. The county’s combined LGF allocation is to go from $2.5 million to an estimated $2.6 million, according to figures provided by the state.

The increase was actually larger last year – $130,000 — but still an improvement over recent years. At its peak in 2008, the county received a combined $4.8 million in LGF dollars, but the state legislature began cutting the LGF allocations that year and using the savings to plug holes in the state budget. The county’s allocation bottomed out at $2.2 million in 2015 before starting to rise again.

Established in 1934, LGF is funded largely with state income and state sales tax collections, a percentage of which is returned to county commissioners and cities, villages and townships in each county. The money is distributed within each county by using either a formula established by the state or one agreed upon by the majority of local governments, which is what Columbiana County has done for the past 15 years or so.

The county’s plan continues to give county commissioners the 50 percent share they are entitled to by law, with the rest distributed among cities, villages and townships on a per capital basis. Each community also receives $15,000 under the distribution agreement.

Salem, by virtue of being the largest city in the county, receives the largest share after commissioners — $108, 662. Summitville, population 135, receives $16,028.

The amounts received by the 18 townships in the county range from $75,595 for St. Clair Township, to $21,198 for Wayne Township.

A separate pot of LGF is used to help fund public libraries in each county. The libraries in this county will receive a combined $3.7 million, an increase of nearly $300,000 from this year. The following is the breakdown per library: Columbiana, $759,612; East Liverpool, $457,814; East Palestine, $421,067; Leetonia, $276,070; Lisbon, $474,129; Salem, $893,292; and Wellsville, $423,963.