Rather than griping here in the economic nightmare that is Ashtabula County, I have been feeling lately that I need to write about such. I used to be an actual writer for a newspaper (have to look tomorrow into perhaps going back to my old paper as a writer again) so I know I often have the urge to write. Besides, getting something written now may be the only immediate way I can actually participate in the profession.As of present, libraries in Ohio typically are dependent upon operating funding from the Libraries & Local Government State Fund ("LLGSF") to the tune of about 80-100% of operating budgets. Libraries (although in this case I am thinking of library districts as such is the basis of service areas in Ohio) often do not supplement their income with revenue from ad valorem property tax levies and lack the power to levy income taxes and/or sales taxes. Property tax levies are often avoided as they are seen as the normal province of funding public schools as well as civil townships and other myriad political subdivisions and/or agencies. Municipalities stay out of property taxes often because they do have the power to levy income and sales taxes.With possible cuts to the LLGSF being proposed possibly in next week's budget submission by Governor Taft to the Ohio General Assembly, what is a library to do? In a time of having to close a $3.8-5 billion (figures vary depending upon sources, be it the County Commissioners Association of Ohio or the Ohio Library Council) budget gap by July 1, 2005, libraries are apparently being seen as expendable by lawmakers and other decision-makers in Columbus.Although based upon informal conversations I have had with Pennsylvania Library Association Executive Director Glenn Miller that Ohio is seen as having a really great funding system, an apparent structural defect may cause trouble soon. If funding is yanked out of the state-level budget as presently rumored (nothing will be known officially until the budget is released on February 8th), public libraries in Ohio will have roughly 0% to 20% (on average) of prior fiscal year funding to work with in trying to function.Due to the effects of the 1970s taxpayer revolt measure known as HB 920 (originally enacted as a statute but later incorporated directly into the Ohio Constitution), property tax revenues pretty much do not increase when property values increase. Levies only return revenue at the amounts voted in. If over a five year period a taxing authority's territory substantially increases in property values no funding boost is actually gained at all. This created a problem for school districts in Ohio as they have to effectively continually campaign in property tax levy elections to attempt to maintain funding levels. As property tax levies are the only other source of funding presently available for library districts in Ohio, should libraries be necessarily be forced to continually approach voters for funding to continue operating? Are library directors necessarily equipped to fight levy campaigns continually? Do library district boards, which are almost always appointed in Ohio and not really elected, have the guts to continue asking for revenue or are they so timid that they would cut back operations? Should we make libraries contenders with public schools for scarce tax revenues in election battles?It is later at night than I would rather to even fully discuss some of the problems I broadly outline above. In rural areas of Ohio such as Ashtabula County there is a growing tax revolt sentiment brewing in which tax requests are being shot down even for the most purportedly noble of causes. There is a situation on the ground that has the potential to grow quite problematic. The key problem at present is whether or not anybody notices that this cooking pot is about to boil over.After having followed a school district on the campaign trail from start its levy campaign to the district being resoundingly defeated at the polls, I have seen how bloody this can get. Perhaps something needs to be written up and circulated so some wake-up calls might start?