The Buckeye State has finally passed a budget, but some local officials fear that parts of that budget could be detrimental to the state’s 88 counties.
Belmont County Commissioner Mark Thomas says a big change that took effect just yesterday is the loss of the MCO, or the Medicaid Managed Care Organization sales tax.
Beginning July 1st, Ohio and its counties are no longer permitted to collect sales tax from any Medicaid services. Thomas says this totals a loss of $750,000 or more for the county, and that could mean future cuts to county services.
“The bottom line is, starting in 2018, when we budget for the county, we’re looking at a maximum of a million dollars less than we’ve had over the last 5 to 6 years,” Thomas told 7News. “That’s something that really opens our eyes and we’ll have to take a look at.”
Thomas says he is also disappointed that the budget did not include a provision to allocate taxes collected on the oil and gas industry back to the counties.
He says that right now, the state keeps that money, and that local government, especially in the western Ohio counties, could really benefit from it.