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Business & Economy

Working From Home Here To Stay, Could Pose Financial Burden For Ohio Cities

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A new study predicts working from home will continue after the pandemic, and the trend will put a burden on the finances of cities across Ohio.

The Ohio Mayors Alliance report found that one in three Ohioans could opt to work from home at least part of the week.

The study looked at economic data from 10 Ohio cities, including Akron, Cincinnati, Columbus, Dayton, Elyria, Fairfield, Kettering, Springfield, Strongsville and Toledo.

It found remote working could result in losses in municipal income tax revenue ranging from 6 to 17 percent.

OMA Executive Director Keary McCarthy said while working from home isn't a bad thing, it does come with the potential for some unintended consequences.

"It could have a significant impact on our ability to invest in public safety, maintain our roads and bridges do all the basic services that are so essential to our cities around the state," said McCarthy.

Summary of Likely Impacts of WFH on Income Tax Collections by Ohio Cities as Percent of Tax Collections (General Fund Only)

McCarthy said the Ohio Mayors Alliance is not currently asking for additional state funding to make up the difference but said the impact of working from home needs to be closely monitored.

"We fundamentally believe that you know, the fiscal health of our cities and the economic interests of the state are inextricably tied. And we can't have a strong vibrant statewide economy unless we have strong, vibrant cities," said McCarthy.

You can read the full report here.

Matthew Rand is the Morning Edition host for 89.7 NPR News. Rand served as an interim producer during the pandemic for WOSU’s All Sides daily talk show.