Should Columbiana County commissioners share the loot?
Commissioners recently announced that their first share of tax receipts from Ohio's first two casinos would be nearly $94,000. This represented a little over one month of taxes generated by casinos in Cleveland and Toledo, with two more casinos to open in other cities in the future.
The state, commissioners and school districts share in the casino tax revenue, although schools are not scheduled to begin receiving checks until 2013.
At last week's Lisbon Village Council meeting Fiscal Officer Tracey Wonner suggested that council might want to adopt a resolution asking commissioners to spread the casino money around instead of keeping it all for themselves. Communities in other Ohio counties have taken such action and have requested that their county commissioners distribute casino revenue using the same distribution formula used for Local Government Fund money.
Commissioners have said they intend to use the casino money to replace the $600,000 lost in LGF funding. The county expects to lose another $340,000 in LGF money in 2013.
Communities have also lost LGF money, and they're hurting as well. School districts will also begin receiving casino money next year, so why not put all of the money into one pot and dole it out based on population, much like LGF money? Commissioners could still retain the biggest share, but spreading a little money around would surely help ease some funding shortages.
Everyone has shared the pain, shouldn't everyone now share the gain?