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Taylor Urges Caution with State Budget Proposal, Says Change Needed Now to Avoid Shortfall in the Future
State Auditor warns of $7.9 billion shortfall in FY 2012-13 if current budget bill goes unchanged
State Auditor Mary Taylor today urged caution as legislative leaders deliberate Ohio’s next two-year budget, to take effect in July. Taylor said that, based on projections released by the her office today, the proposed state budget for fiscal years 2010 and 2011 is not sustainable and, if unchanged, will leave Ohio with a $7.9 billion shortfall by 2013.
“Ohioans deserve to know where our state is headed. This budget should not pass in its current form without a full understanding of the serious, long-term consequences it will have for Ohio and our citizens,” Taylor said. “Projections released today make it very clear, there is little room for error as Ohio navigates these unprecedented and uncertain economic times.”
Analysts in the Auditor of State’s office, who computed budget projections for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 at Taylor’s request, have estimated a shortfall of $7.9 billion if the present budget proposal is approved as written. Taylor’s analysis shows the proposed budget to be structurally out of balance and unsustainable, based on a forecast of the following two years.
Taylor also had analysts run alternate scenarios. The first scenario projected growth in Medicaid, Debt Service and Property Tax Relief, but held all remaining GRF spending flat in fiscal years 2012 and 2013. This resulted in a biennial shortfall of $6.8 billion. The second scenario held all GRF funding flat. This resulted in a $4.9 billion shortfall.
Taylor said she and many Ohioans are deeply concerned with the proposed state budget for fiscal years 2010 and 2011. To address a projected $7.3 billion shortfall in those years, the proposal uses a significant amount of federal and state one-time funding to bridge the gap.
“We cannot continue to push our problems off until tomorrow, because the huge shortfall we project for 2012 and 2013 won’t go away by simply ignoring it,” Taylor said. “We need to get ongoing spending in line with ongoing revenues. That will require action and tough decisions.”
The analysis referenced is available online at
The Ohio Auditor of State’s Office is one of the largest accounting offices in the nation. The office strives to ensure that all public funds are spent legally and appropriately and works aggressively to root out fraud, waste and abuse in public spending. Taylor encourages anyone suspecting fraud or misspending of public dollars to contact her office toll free at 1-866-FRAUD-OH (1-866-372-8364). Since taking office in January 2007, Taylor has identified more than $19.3 million in public funds that were spent illegally and must be repaid.