On Tuesday, December 12, 2017, Summit County Council passed legislation approving and adopting the County of Summit’s 2018 Operating Budget. County Executive Ilene Shapiro signed the legislation approving the budget today.
The 2018 Operating Budget is $529.2 million, which remains $47 million less than a decade ago, with a reduction of 890 less full-time employees. The budget represents the totality of funds for all County of Summit departments and agencies as well as budgets for the Summit County Children Services Board, the Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board, and the Developmental Disabilities Board.
Summit County continues to be the lowest cost county government in the State of Ohio, operating at the lowest county sales tax rate in the state (6.75%). This low tax rate, coupled with continual reductions in state funding places significant strain on county public safety operations. In addition to state and federal cuts, the opiate crisis in Summit County further strains economic and fiscal resources, and a wing of the County jail remains closed as a result of budgetary restrictions.
“Summit County maintains strong financial management while providing essential services to residents in spite of monetary strains placed by the State of Ohio and the Federal government,” said County Executive Shapiro. “We put tremendous emphasis on the importance of collaboration, consolidation, sustainability, and economic development initiatives within Summit County in order to support our financial stability.”
County Council President John Schmidt added, “Summit County is working hard to navigate through substantial budgetary cuts coming down from the State and Federal government and we will continue to work together to provide our citizens with quality services while also carefully monitoring the financial climate and its impacts.”
The County’s financial management practices have been cited as “Strong” by Moody’s and Standard and Poor’s bond rating agencies, and Summit maintains its AA+ bond rating. Fiscal responsibility and proactive cost saving measures both internally and with other entities throughout Summit County remain among Executive Shapiro’s most critical areas of focus as the County will struggle to balance the budget in 2019, following the loss of an additional $4.3 million in state funding ($3.7 million in Medicaid Managed Care Organization Sales Tax and $600,000 in Tangible Personal Property Tax).