COLUMBIANA COUNTY New formula for funds approved

Officials representing about 82 percent of the county population have approved the new formula.
LISBON -- The county budget commission is poised to impose a new formula for distribution of local government funds.
Commissioner Jim Hoppel said the budget commission was to meet this morning.
On Friday, commissioners approved the new formula, which will provide a bigger share of state tax dollars to some towns and townships.
Hoppel and Perry Township Trustee Jeff Hochadel both said they expected the budget commission to vote to impose the new formula, which would then go into effect in January.
Hochadel, one of the leaders in devising the new formula, said Friday that 16 of 18 township boards and six of 12 municipal councils had passed the resolutions necessary to approve the new formula. Others had not yet responded, he said.
The groups represent about 82 percent of the county population, he said. To put the new distribution formula into effect, a vote by officials representing at least 51 percent of the population was required, he said.
First one submitted
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.
Hochadel 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 new formula, other communities will get increases ranging from less than 1 percent to about 2 percent.
A committee of township trustees and other local officials, including some former council members and trustees, worked to develop the new formula, Hochadel said.
He said the committee members worked hard to develop a fair formula and are pleased with the overwhelming support shown by township and municipal leaders.]

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