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Tuesday, December 14, 2021
Tyler Lowry, Franklin County Commissioners, 614/525-6630
Robin Ross, Franklin County Commissioners, 614/525-2392

At their final meeting of 2021, the Franklin County Commissioners this morning voted unanimously in favor of a county budget for 2022 that is balanced and forward-looking, and which contains no fee or tax increases.
“The past two years have been challenging, both for our residents and for local governments all over the country,” said Board of Commissioners President, Kevin L. Boyce.  “Franklin County has been able to weather this tough period well, however, because we entered the pandemic in a strong financial position due to smart, conservative planning in years past.”
As the administrative head of county government, the commissioners oversee 14 county agencies directly and are responsible for the entire county’s budgets, including those of other elected officials and agencies.  Next year’s All Funds budget is $1.99 billion, an increase of about 7.9%.  The All Funds budget includes the General Fund as well as state and federal funding, and about 40% of it is used to fund human and social services such as the Office on Aging, Job and Family Services, ADAMH, and Children Services.  
“We’re proud of our reputation for financial prudence, and to be able to continue to invest in things like affordable housing and economic development in order to keep our county on the right track as we recover from the pandemic and its health and economic impacts,” said Commissioner John O’Grady.
The commissioners held three public budget hearings this fall to consider an original budget proposal from County Administration.  The final budget incorporates a few changes from that proposal, including adjustments for additional contracts to use American Rescue Plan funding in 2022 and to account for higher-than-expected sales tax revenue.  The county’s final 2022 General Fund budget is about $543 million, a 1.75% increase over 2021.  The General Fund is mostly made up of sales tax revenue and is largely used to support public safety and justice initiatives such as the sheriff and prosecutor’s offices, 911 call centers, and the court system.
“Many Central Ohio families were already living paycheck-to-paycheck, and the pandemic has only exacerbated the barriers that already excited,” said Commissioner Erica C. Crawley.  “I’ve always said, show me you budget and that will show me your values.  Our value is to invest intentionally in our people.  Our efforts this year have been focused on helping our neighbors survive and meet their basic needs, such as staying in their home.  I’m looking forward to next year when we can work to help our families thrive.”
The 2022 budget will allow the commissioners to add to the county’s “Rainy Day Fund”, which has been steady at $62.5 million for some years.  Franklin County is also one of a small percentage of local governments that maintains the highest possible double Triple-A credit rating. The full text of the budget passed this morning is available here, and additional information about the 2022 budget can be found online here.  The commissioners’ first meeting of 2022 will be Tuesday, January 4th.