County ends 2016 with $600k carryover

By Sarah Hawley -

POMEROY — Meigs County’s county general fund ended 2016 with a carryover balance of $617,643.93.

That carryover is after a number of capital improvements were completed on county buildings, including those to roofs, HVAC systems, furnishings, carpet, painting of the courthouse and moving of multiple offices.

“We’re still in good shape,” said Commissioner Tim Ihle.

While the carryover number is good compared to just a few years ago when there was barely enough to keep the lights on, there is some concern going into 2017.

Ihle explained that the county, as it stands now, is subject to loose nearly $600,000 (very close to that carryover amount) annually should the medicare and medicaid sales tax loss not be offset in some way by state legislators.

According to the County Commissioner Association of Ohio, current law regarding medicaid sales tax provides that “all transactions by which health care services are paid for, reimbursed, provided, delivered, arranged for, or otherwise made available by a Medicaid health insuring corporation pursuant to the corporation’s contract with the state” is subject to both state and local sales and use taxes collected by the Department of Taxation.

For purposes of collecting the tax, the Medicaid Managed Care Organization (MCO) is considered the consumer of the service. The state and local sales taxes are collected by the state and the local portion is remitted to the county or transit authority. For purposes of applying local sales taxes, the state credits the local sales tax to the county of residence of the MCO enrollee.

This is set to change this summer as a result of federal regulations.

No fix has been put in place at this time at the state level, but legislators are looking at it, according to the commissioners.

Commissioner Randy Smith said that newly-sworn-in State Rep. Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) is well aware of the situation and has been looking into what has been done in other states and what could potentially be done in Ohio to offset the loss.

Smith said that two of Edwards’ four counties he serves are among those expected to take the hardest hit from the cuts.

For now, the commissioners are being cautious about spending, and are not planning to spend on capital improvements this year, in anticipation of the potential budget cut.

By Sarah Hawley

Reach Sarah Hawley at 740-992-2155 ext 2555 or on Twitter @SarahHawleyNews

Reach Sarah Hawley at 740-992-2155 ext 2555 or on Twitter @SarahHawleyNews