Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Ohio PLF Funds update

From Michelle Francis, Ohio Library Council: 
 
"Budget Update – Yesterday the Ohio Senate began informal hearings on HB 64, the biennial budget bill, and later today the Ohio House will officially pass their version of the bill.

As the Senate began their proceedings yesterday, they indicated that they would start with FY 2015 as a baseline and wouldn’t necessarily start with the House’s version of the budget bill. We need to let Senators know that we need to keep the House language changing the PLF percentage to 1.7% of the total General Revenue Fund (GRF). This will be our primary focus on Legislative Day and our advocacy efforts over the next 8 weeks. This is extremely important and we will need you to make contacts in the Senate – we will have to fight to keep this provision!

PLF Change – The House’s version of HB 64 that will be debated this afternoon on the House floor still includes our provision changing the PLF percentage from 1.66% to 1.7%. Following today’s vote, please contact your state representative and thank them for their support!

TPP Clarification – Earlier this week the Ohio House Finance Committee amended HB 64 to include a hold harmless provision for school districts so that they would not receive cuts in funding due to the phase-out in Tangible Personal Property (TPP) tax reimbursement payments. It is important to clarify that this hold harmless provision only applies to school districts and does not apply to other local governments and libraries impacted by the TPP. Some members of the media were misreporting this provision. The hold harmless provision was part of a compromise under the House’s new school funding formula where some school districts were going to receive a cut in funding.

Legislative Day – We need your advocacy efforts more than ever on Legislative Day and over the next 8 weeks! Attached are updated copies of our talking points to use with Senators, our white paper on funding and examples of workforce development from all across the state. On Tuesday we are going to be asking you to do three things:
- Urge Senators to keep the House language changing the PLF percentage to 1.7% of the total GRF!
- Share workforce development and education examples from your library!
- Share the Return on Investment (ROI) from your local library to the community!"

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

I'm back

...sorta...

more soon...? Until then, an update on the PLF, from Michelle Francis at Ohio Library Council:

"RE: PLF CHANGES IN STATE BUDGET BILL

Yesterday, the House Finance Committee accepted a substitute version of HB 64, the state's biennial budget bill. The House's version of the bill includes a provision increasing the PLF from 1.66% to 1.7%. In addition, the substitute bill makes numerous changes to the governor's tax reform proposal. The substitute bill contains more than 3,000 pages. We will send out additional information and talking points once we have an opportunity to review all of the changes.

This is definitely a step forward, but we still have a long way to go in the overall budget process. The House hopes to finish their work next week after additional hearings and amendments. Then, the bill will move to the Senate for consideration.



This change will be the primary focus of our advocacy efforts on Legislative Day on April 28th!"

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

hiatus

I've been on a hiatus from the blog for almost a month for a lot of reasons, so it felt appropriate to post about Mumford & Sons ending their hiatus with Wilder Minds coming out in May. I am screaming inside. SO. EXCITED.

An oldie, but a goodie. Sitting on anticipation!


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

staying tuned...

An update on the Ohio State FY '16-'17, in regards to public libraries, according to OLC's Access Weekly:

"Analysis Underway on Proposed FY16-17 State Budget and Potential Impact on PLF

The OLC staff and consultants have begun the tedious process of analyzing the 719-pages of Gov. Kasich's proposed $72.3 billion state budget for fiscal years (FY) 2016-17, and the potential impact the proposals may have on the Public Library Fund (PLF). The budget proposal includes a combination of tax cuts and tax increases. Overall, the administration claims it amounts to $500 million net tax cut, even though it includes increases in sales, commercial activity, tobacco, and severance taxes. Some of the high points of the proposal include:

  • Cuts the income tax by 23% across-the-board (15% income tax cut this year and 8% cut next year);
  • Raises the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) on gross receipts from .26% to .32%;
  • Increases the Cigarette Tax from $1.25 to $2.25 per pack;
  • Proposes a 6.5% Severance Tax on high volume oil and gas horizontal wells;
  • Increases the state sales tax from 5.75% to 6.25%;
  • And expands the sales tax base to include the following services: cable TV, parking, lobbying, public relations, consulting, and travel packages.

A summary of the Governor's tax proposal as well as the entire state budget document are available online.

Public Library Fund  

According to Office of Budget and Management (OBM) budget documents, the Governor's proposed budget does not change the Public Library Fund (PLF) percentage from 1.66% of the total General Revenue Fund (GRF) tax receipts. However, due to the various tax reform proposals and state revenue estimates, if the Governor's budget is enacted as proposed, the distribution to the PLF would increase by 5.7% in FY16 and 3.9% in FY17. (See

chart for details and comparison to past and current distributions.)  
A few points to keep in mind:

  • Even though public libraries budget on a calendar year basis, the General Assembly and the state operate on a fiscal year basis. Therefore, budget documents are produced for the legislature based on fiscal years and not calendar years.
  • This is the very beginning of the budget deliberation process. The final FY16-17 budget will not be enacted until the end of June and numerous changes will be made between now and then.
  • Various organizations have already raised concerns with the Governor's tax proposal on severance tax increases, the CAT tax increases, and cigarette tax changes.
It is extremely important to continue to look at the big picture throughout the state budget process - both on the revenue side and on the proposed tax cuts. More information will be provided as soon as it is available.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

gentlefooting it to sleep

"A Goodnight"
Go to sleep--though of course you will not--
to tideless waves thundering slantwise against
strong embankments, rattle and swish of spray
dashed thirty feet high, caught by the lake wind,
scattered and strewn broadcast in over the steady
car rails! Sleep, sleep! Gulls' cries in a wind-gust
broken by the wind; calculating wings set above
the field of waves breaking.
Go to sleep to the lunge between foam-crests,
refuse churned in the recoil. Food! Food!
Offal! Offal! that holds them in the air, wave-white
for the one purpose, feather upon feather, the wild
chill in their eyes, the hoarseness in their voices--
sleep, sleep . . .

Gentlefooted crowds are treading out your lullaby.
Their arms nudge, they brush shoulders,
hitch this way then that, mass and surge at the crossings--
lullaby, lullaby! The wild-fowl police whistles,
the enraged roar of the traffic, machine shrieks:
it is all to put you to sleep,
to soften your limbs in relaxed postures,
and that your head slip sidewise, and your hair loosen
and fall over your eyes and over your mouth,
brushing your lips wistfully that you may dream,
sleep and dream--

A black fungus springs out about the lonely church doors--
sleep, sleep. The Night, coming down upon
the wet boulevard, would start you awake with his
message, to have in at your window. Pay no
heed to him. He storms at your sill with
cooings, with gesticulations, curses!
You will not let him in. He would keep you from sleeping.
He would have you sit under your desk lamp
brooding, pondering; he would have you
slide out the drawer, take up the ornamented dagger
and handle it. It is late, it is nineteen-nineteen--
go to sleep, his cries are a lullaby;
his jabbering is a sleep-well-my-baby; he is
a crackbrained messenger.

The maid waking you in the morning
when you are up and dressing,
the rustle of your clothes as you raise them--
it is the same tune.
At table the cold, greeninsh, split grapefruit, its juice
on the tongue, the clink of the spoon in
your coffee, the toast odors say it over and over.

The open street-door lets in the breath of
the morning wind from over the lake.
The bus coming to a halt grinds from its sullen brakes--
lullaby, lullaby. The crackle of a newspaper,
the movement of the troubled coat beside you--
sleep, sleep, sleep, sleep . . .
It is the sting of snow, the burning liquor of
the moonlight, the rush of rain in the gutters packed
with dead leaves: go to sleep, go to sleep.
And the night passes--and never passes-- 

--William Carlos Williams

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

hope for libraries in OH FY 16-17??

Lately I've been treading water at work; trying hard to keep afloat with the day to day, while trying to take on a few little projects. Stay tuned on those. While I try and wrap my head around those, I wanted to at least share this info from OLC's (Ohio Library Council) Access Weekly

"Gov. Kasich Unveils Plans for FY16-17 State Budget

On Feb. 2, Governor John Kasich released his proposed $72.3 billion state budget for fiscal years (FY) 2016-17, which begin July 1, 2015. It includes a combination of tax cuts and tax increases. Overall, the administration claims it amounts to $500 million net tax cut, even though it includes increases in sales, commercial activity, tobacco, and severance taxes. Some of the high points of the proposal include:
  • Cuts the income tax by 23% across-the-board (15% income tax cut this year and 8% cut next year);
  • Raises the Commercial Activity Tax (CAT) on gross receipts from .26% to .32%;
  • Increases the Cigarette Tax from $1.25 to $2.25 per pack;
  • Proposes a 6.5% Severance Tax on high volume oil and gas horizontal wells;
  • Increases the state sales tax from 5.75% to 6.25%;
  • And expands the sales tax base to include the following services: cable TV, parking, lobbying, public relations, consulting, and travel packages."

For a summary of Gov. Kasich's Tax Proposal

So, what does that mean for Ohio libraries?

 According to Michelle Francis of OLC, Director of Government & Legal Services:

"According to Office of Budget and Management (OBM) budget documents, the Governor’s proposed budget does not change the PLF percentage from 1.66% of the total General Revenue Fund (GRF) tax receipts. However, due to the various tax reform proposals and state revenue estimates, if the Governor’s proposal were to be enacted as proposed, the distribution to the PLF would increase by 5.7% in FY16 and 3.9% in FY17."

So, what does that mean for Sticks Library?Nothing. Not to sound pessimistic, but until that budget is set in stone and the checks are cut, and showing a definite PLF (Public Library Fund) increase for Ohio libraries, we'll keep plugging on like nothing is different. Libraries have been burned before.