Remote working could hurt city budgets – WHIO TV 7 and WHIO Radio

DAYTON – Cities and towns in Ohio are emerging from budget crises due to COVID-19, which some say could last for several years.

About four in five cities and towns in the state will lose tax revenue this year due to the shift to working from home. Dayton appears to be one of the cities most affected by this.

Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said cities like Dayton have weathered the COVID-19 crisis at home with temporary tax relief from state lawmakers and federal contributors, but these won’t be long-term solutions or help to fill empty buildings.

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“It’s going to have an impact on Kettering [and] Dayton. It’s gonna have an impact on Springfield [and] Centerville, ”Whaley said, noting that major cities won’t be the only ones affected by remote workers.

Keary McCarthy, of the Ohio Mayors Alliance, told News Center 7’s Mike Campbell that remote working isn’t going to go away.

“The biggest takeaway was that remote working is here to stay and could impact a third of the workforce,” McCarthy said.

The Ohio Mayors Alliance studied the impact of working from home on the 30 largest cities in Ohio. The study showed that the top 10 cities in the state, like Toledo, are expected to lose just 6% of their tax revenue. This number rises to 10.5% for Springfield and 12% for Kettering, Columbus and Cincinnati. In Dayton, however, the potential loss of tax revenue is 17%.

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Whaley said the loss could impact city departments like police, firefighters, water and garbage collection.

Additionally, Whaley said downtown vacancies could worsen in cities across the state, with more employees working from home and cities doing nothing to invest in starting new businesses without guarantees that their employees would work and pay taxes there.

“The reason cities invest in economic development is that it generates tax revenue,” Whaley said.

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