By Gene Krebs. Over the weekend I was featured on the show Columbus on the Record. Go to their website and look for the episode broadcast on 11-12-10. The topics included the 3 C rail and the coming budget problems in Ohio.
Nationally the thought is that states who talk frankly about the upcoming fiscal collapse of their Department of Transportation (DOT) tend to have more success in pushing alternative transportation and addressing the subsidy issue head on, which is that roughly half of the US DOT money comes from sources other than user fees and taxes. Current ODOT staff never talks about their approaching fiscal collapse.
As far as the budget goes, 85% of state general revenue is sent to locals for everything from schools to welfare. We could fire all state employees and get only $2 billion savings in the state budget, which is about half what we need to cut each year from a 4 billion dollar shortfall.
We have 41.3 local governments per county compared to the national average of 27.9 , which is perhaps one reason our costs are so much higher in Ohio than the rest of the country, as we rank 9th in local taxes of the fifty states.
We also talked about the oweNO effort to reign in the federal deficit. Check out the video for more information.