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Suburbs brace for impact during financial crunch

Walker Evans Walker Evans Suburbs brace for impact during financial crunch
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The Dispatch wroteSuburbs brace for impact

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

BY MARTIN ROZENMAN, DEAN NARCISO, JIM WOODS AND ALAYNA DEMARTINI

When Columbus starts talking about a financial emergency, suburban officials cast nervous glances over their shoulders. “Everybody gets concerned when Columbus has a bad year, since they’ve lifted us up in past years,” said Hilliard Finance Director Michelle Kelly-Underwood. “So goes Columbus, so goes the suburbs.”

Westerville, Pickerington and Pataskala want to increase income-tax rates to keep up with the rising costs of police and other services. Others aren’t far behind.

“Central Ohio does reasonably well” in tough times, Mahoney said, pointing to stagnant state and federal funding to cities and weak investment income. “But there’s a heck of a difference between Whitehall and Dublin.”

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