Sunday, January 17, 2010

UPDATE: Lake County's Pending Economic Disaster: Expect tax increases

UPDATE (1/20/10 7:51 PM): This morning "Wake up, Lake County!" co-host Mike Guttierez had Lake County Commissioner Ray Sines call-in to the show. Click to go to the audio and video.  Commissioner Sines swore up and down that he or the other Commissioners WILL NOT raise taxes this year,  no matter what people are telling you!

That's right...your mighty Lake County Blog got another elected official to respond to it (the blog) in the Media.  Glad to see you read Commissioner Sines!  Stick to your word...better yet...ask Dan Troy to stick to your word.


The once raging rivers of (tax) revenue into Lake County have been dammed up.  The obstruction in the way of the flow of revenue into the County coffers is decades long policies of taxation and economic warfare on business.

Audtior Ed Zupancic gave a speech to the Lake County Development Council recently.  This speech detailed the five sources of revenue that used to fill the county coffers.  Here they are:

1) The County sales tax (6.5% = 5.5% to the State + 0.5% to County + 0.5% to Laketran).  The County received $14, 524, 183 in 2009, down from $15, 571, 740 in 2008, which represents a 6.73% decline.  Sales tax for 2007 was $15, 699 ,264 and in 2006, was $15, 438, 463.

2) The real property tax, Ohio's oldest tax (created in 1825).  The Triennial update in 2009 saw a 10% decrease county wide.  Individual communities saw decrease in the range of 8% - 12%.

3) A permissive real property tax known as the transfer tax is assessed on the purchase of property.  The General Assembly created this tax in 1967.  The Board of County Commissioners increased the transfer tax from 1% to 4% in 1990.  In, 2009, Lake County collected $2, 122, 302 in transfer tax as compared to $2, 834, 774 collected in 2008, a decrease of $712, 470.  In 2007 Lake County collected $3, 436, 951 in transfer tax and $4, 779, 306 in 2006.

4) The Local Government Fund, created on January 1, 1935.  Contributions come from the State.  The 2009 local government fund for the Lake County General fund was $1, 826, 466 as compared to $2, 121, 255 for 2008, a decrease of $294, 789.  This compares to $2, 147, 317 for 2007 and $2, 193, 995 for 2006.

5) Investments.  Lake County participates in the State Treasurer's Investment Pool of Ohio (STAR OHIO).  The interest income for 2009 general fund was $4, 030, 207 as compared to 6, 951, 139 for 2008, a decrease of $3, 234, 562.  This reflects a nationwide decrease in investment interest rates in 2009.  Interest income for 2007 was $8, 850, 436 and $6, 708, 080 for 2006.

The money is drying up.  Lake County has had a few layoffs (all layoffs suck).  However, it could be much much worse.  As you can see some revenue streams are off more than 50% in the past 1 - 2 years.  Lake County needs to be thankful we have not lost more jobs and services.

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