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Thank you for your help in contacting our lawmakers and testifying in support of Independent Providers. Your voice was heard.
WE NEED YOUR HELP AGAIN!
HERE’S THE PROBLEM:
Back in 2005 the Ohio budget called for the gradual repeal of the tangible personal property tax (TPPT) as part of a package meant to stimulate economic growth. This created a substantial loss of revenue ($1.6 billion) to schools and local government programs, including county boards of DD. The General Assembly then put in place a program to reimburse local governments for this loss. The reimbursements were to be phased out over time, but in the budget for FY 2012-2013, adjustments were made to halt the phase out program depending on how reliant local governments were on those funds. The current budget resumes the phase out schedule.
This will cost county boards across the state $40.5 million over the two-year budget period. When federal Medicaid match dollars are factored in, that total is closer to $94 million being taken out of the DD system statewide. In Hamilton County we would lose $2.2 million from the TPPT phase-out, for a total loss of more than $5 million each year for services to people with DD in our county.
While the administration has certainly advertised the millions of dollars of new money being invested in DD at the state level to promote integration, little has been said about this concurrent loss to the local systems.
HERE’S THE FIX:
The Ohio Association of County Boards of DD (OACB) has secured sponsorship of an amendment to the budget that would appropriate the funds lost through the TPPT phase-out into a Department of Developmental Disabilities budget line item. This money would then be distributed to county boards of DD to fund Medicaid waivers for the people served by county boards.
The amendment, HC1093, is being sponsored by Rep. Robert Sprague, Chairman of the House Finance Health and Human Services Subcommittee. Rep. Sprague heard many of you speak about the needs of people with DD, and is listening again. To ensure the amendment is accepted into HB64, he needs to also hear from his colleagues that they will support him if he proposes this amendment.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
If you are not sure who represents you, the attached map shows the district boundaries along with contact information for each of Hamilton County’s seven representatives.
Please ACT NOW. The emails and phone calls can be brief but they must be timely. The deadline for the House Finance Committee to accept a bill that would include OACB’s amendment is Tuesday, April 14.
I also attached a copy of the email I am sending to each of our seven representatives that has a little more information. Please contact me if you have any questions.
Hamilton County Board of DD Services Advocacy Co-chair