Monday, Oct 16, 2017
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State Auditor releases village of Portage from fiscal emergency

PORTAGE, OHIO — Auditor of State Dave Yost on Monday released the Wood County village from fiscal emergency, a designation in which it had been for about eight-and-a-half years. 

“Sacrifice is an unfortunate, but integral component of a fiscal recovery,” Mr. Yost said in a statement. “After enduring almost a decade of difficult choices, the community can take pride in knowing its efforts have paid off.”

Budget deficits led to the designation in April, 2009. Village council approved a 1 percent income tax in 2009. Savings of about $129,000 were accomplished through disbanding the police department and mayor’s court, and by salary cuts to employees and village council.

Portage is not the only northwest Ohio municipality that Mr. Yost’s office has place into fiscal emergency. Most prominently, city of Fostoria received the designation in May, 2016, because of deficits. If voters reject a 6-mill, five-year levy on the November ballot there, the city is committed to police and fire reductions to make up for the about $3.2 million that would otherwise be raised by the levy.

In July, Mr. Yost released the Williams County village of Edgerton from fiscal emergency. The village had been under the designation since Dec. 17, 2013, because of budget deficits. A tax increase approved by voters and improved tax collections, as well as a municipal salary freeze and increased water and sewer rates, helped reduce those budget deficits.

Other northwest Ohio communities in fiscal emergency include the villages of Patterson in Hardin County, Leipsic in Putnam County, and Portage in Wood County.

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