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Village of Portage Emerges from Fiscal Emergency After More than 8 Years
Columbus – Auditor of State Dave Yost today announced that the Village of Portage (Wood County) has achieved financial stability after spending nearly 8 1/2 years in fiscal emergency.
“Sacrifice is an unfortunate, but integral component of a fiscal recovery,” Auditor Yost said. “After enduring almost a decade of difficult choices, the community can take pride in knowing its efforts have paid off.”
The village was assigned the fiscal distress designation on April 8, 2009, after the Auditor’s office identified deficit fund balances of $87,345 and $103,105 as of Dec. 31, 2008, and Jan. 31, 2009, respectively. At the same time, treasury deficits exceeded one-sixth of treasury receipts by $67,583 and $77,622.
The village has since generated about $129,000 in annual savings by disbanding its police department and mayor’s court in 2010, and by reducing salaries for village employees and council.
The community of roughly 440 people also will contribute between $116,200 and $125,780 in yearly revenue through 2021 from a 1 percent income tax that village council enacted in 2009. After the tax was enacted, the village contracted with the Regional Income Tax Agency (RITA) to provide tax administration services.
The village also had to satisfy the following requirements to be terminated from fiscal emergency:
- Adopted and implemented an effective financial accounting and reporting system;
- Corrected or eliminated all of the fiscal emergency conditions; no new conditions have occurred, and it appears that, based on the five-year forecast, the village will remain out of fiscal emergency during the forecast period,
- Met the major objectives of the financial recovery plan; and
- Prepared a five-year forecast in accordance with standards issued by the Auditor of State, and the opinion expressed by the Auditor of State is “nonadverse.”
A full copy of this fiscal emergency termination is available online.
The Auditor of State’s office, one of five independently elected statewide offices in Ohio, is responsible for auditing more than 5,900 state and local government agencies. Under the direction of Auditor Dave Yost, the office also provides financial services to local governments, investigates and prevents fraud in public agencies and promotes transparency in government.