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Local Governments Struggle To Provide Services After State Cuts

Columbus city leaders are working toward a 75 million dollar balance in the municipal rainy day fund. One of the reasons is to help the city maintain services in an era of state funding cuts.

A study by the progressive-leaning think tank Policy Matters Ohio shows the state cut local government funding by 10 percent between fiscal years 2010 to 2011, and the two years of the current budget. Local governments also lost a total of 625 million dollars when lawmakers eliminated the estate tax. Researcher Wendy Patton says the cuts harmed the services provided by many local governments.

Patton says Bucyrus has laid off first-responders, Mansfield has closed city swimming pools, and Cincinnati has privatized its parking operations. Other cities are closing buildings and putting development plans on hold. The study is based on figures from the Governor's office.

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