COLUMBIANA COUNTY Redistribution proposed for funds

East Liverpool's share drops dramatically under the proposal.
LISBON -- Columbiana County communities will be asked to vote in coming weeks on a new formula for sharing state tax dollars that provides a bigger percentage to most towns and townships.
A committee of township trustees and other local officials announced the proposed fund distribution formula Monday. Cities, villages and townships representing 51 percent of the county's population of about 112,000 must approve it for it to be adopted.
The formula is the first to be submitted under a new state law adopted earlier this year that strips East Liverpool of its veto over the annual distribution. East Liverpool had the veto power as the county's largest city.
In recent years, East Liverpool has received 27 percent of the county's annual Local Government Funds allocation, which typically amounts to millions of dollars.
Many communities argued the city's share was too large. Now, with East Liverpool having lost its veto, the proposed distribution formula slashes the city's annual share from 27 percent to just over 4 percent.
Basis for formula
Perry Township Trustee Jeff Hochadel, one of the leaders in devising the new formula, said the proposed distribution is based on population and real estate values within each subdivision.
Even at about 4 percent, East Liverpool still has the second-largest share. Salem, at 5.6 percent, gets the highest percentage in the proposed plan. Under the present formula, Salem gets about 2.4 percent.
Under the proposal, other communities will get increases ranging from less than 1 percent to about 2 percent.
The nearly 4 percent East Liverpool is allotted in the proposed formula provides the city with an LGF share next year of about $204,308. That figure is based on the county's 2003 allocation of $4.8 million.
But the city actually will get $572,854 in 2003 because other communities are repaying it a nearly $1.2 million debt incurred several years ago when the county budget commission lowered East Liverpool's annual share from 27 percent to 18 percent.
The state reversed the county's decision and ordered East Liverpool's share returned to 27 percent and the other communities to repay it.
Hochadel said he anticipates the formula's being approved.

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