Issue 7 Information
What is Issue 7?
On November 2, Columbus residents have the opportunity to
vote on a ballot issue that would redirect $87 million from the city’s general
fund to create four funds: an Energy Conservation and Energy Efficiency Fund, a
Clean Energy Education and Training Fund, a Minority Business Enterprise Clean
Energy Development Fund and a Columbus Clean Energy Partnership Fund. Two of
those funds – worth $67 million – would be transferred to an unidentified group
with no legislative oversight.
What is the city’s general fund?
The general fund provides financial support for the city’s
basic services, including refuse collection and the salaries of first
responders and health care workers. In 2021, the general fund was $970 million.
Does the city have energy conservation programs?
Yes. Voters overwhelmingly approved Clean Energy Columbus in
the November 2020 election, which will provide electric customers with 100%
clean energy from Ohio-based wind and solar by 2022. It is part of the
city’s commitment to be carbon neutral by 2050.
What would happen to city finances if Issue 7 passed?
The city would cut programs and services funded by the
general fund. Personnel costs constitute the largest portion of the general
fund. Cuts in first responders, health care workers and other departments would be likely.
Another option would be to deplete the Rainy Day Fund used to cover costs in a
fiscal emergency, depleting several decades’ worth of funding.