Ohio auditor Mary Taylor has declared three municipalities to be in a state of fiscal emergency over the past several weeks.
Last week Taylor declared an emergency in Lakemore. The village’s debt exceeds one-sixth of its general fund, triggering the emergency, according to local reports. The village has also suffered from a structural deficit for the past 10 years.
The mayor, who took office in January 2008 and requested the state’s analysis, told local reporters that part of the problem was the relocation of a hospital that was the chief income-tax provider and employer for the town.
Taylor in late August declared emergencies in the city of Mansfield and the village of Bethel. Both were found to have deficit fund balances over the past two years, and in both cases local leaders requested the fiscal analyses
When an Ohio municipality is placed in fiscal emergency, the state appoints a seven-member commission to help local officials stabilize their fiscal position. The panel is responsible for approving a deficit-elimination plan that also balances the budget, and recommends strategies for avoiding future deficits.