2011-10-15 / Editorials & Letters

Writer says Baltimore spends tax money wisely

Editor:

Some recent letters about the Baltimore Police Department finances have created some misconceptions. Here is some information to help clear them up.

The writer compared revenue/expenses for “Protection of Persons and Property” with Pickerington and Canal Winchester. Both are cities with a considerable amount of commercial/industry tax revenue. Plus Canal Winchester has a 2% income tax and a police protection property tax for residents who live in Madison Township. Both communities included grant revenue unrelated to police protection and Canal Winchester included a $2M sale of notes as part of its overall revenue. This distorts his comparisons.

Instead it makes more sense to compare Baltimore’s police costs to communities of similar size and demographics in Central Ohio. Using the same source as the writer, Hebron spent 55%, Johnstown 52.1%, Sunbury 35%, and Ashville 33.7%, as compared to Baltimore’s 31%.

Lastly, the writer seems to indicate that Baltimore’s accounting practices are questionable because the Village is not following “Generally Accepted Accounting Procedures”. Many Ohio villages don’t use GAAP because it is expensive. It has nothing to do with how the Village spends its money. Of seven communities discussed in this letter, three used GAAP, including both cities, while four did not.

Village Council and administrators have worked hard to spend your money wisely. Doing more with less staff, repairing - not purchasing, no raises, employees paying higher insurance costs, using out of date equipment.

I make one request – please take time to learn the facts.

Stephanie Harget
Baltimore

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