Ohio’s phaseout of tax still hitting schools’ finances

A decade after state legislators eliminated what was regarded as one of the worst taxes in Ohio, the move continues to haunt state officials and local school districts.

A relic from the days when manufacturing made Ohio a national economic powerhouse, the tangible personal property tax, known as the TPP, was assessed on equipment, inventory and furniture.

Although most people still agree that getting rid of the tax was a good idea that made Ohio more competitive in attracting business, it remains a headache for those trying to craft school-funding plans, and a worrisome problem for schools trying to manage their budgets.

The state is still reimbursing schools for that lost TPP revenue, but those reimbursements have been cut significantly in recent years and are set for an additional $239 million reduction in the new two-year budget.

Losing more of the reimbursement “will decimate the Princeton educational system and our community,” Edward Theroux, interim superintendent of Princeton City Schools, recently told a Senate panel. His Hamilton County district gets about a quarter of its total budget from the TPP fund.

“We will not be able to recover and meet the needs of our students,” Theroux said.

(Read more that the Dispatch)