White House OMB Announces Proposed Change to Metropolitan Statistical Areas

Earlier this year, the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) announced that they are considering making a change to the metropolitan statistical area (MSA) designation. Under the new change if enacted, municipalities and metropolitan areas will have a minimum population threshold of 100,000 instead of the current 50,000. The U.S. Chamber created a one-pager highlighting this issue.

MSAs are used by federal agencies to analyze labor market conditions, spending patterns and unemployment. It is also used by many federal agencies to determine which areas of the country are eligible for federal funding for such programs as the Community Development Block Grant Program (CDBG) and infrastructure funding under transportation bills. In 2004, GAO reported that there are more than three dozen programs that use the MSA designations to determine federal funding eligibility. In addition to losing eligibility for federal funding, cities excluded from an MSA would lose local influence and control over regional project planning.

Three cities in Ohio would be affected by this change to MSA designation; Lima, Mansfield and Springfield. We are working with our counterparts at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the respective chambers in these cities to help lobby against this change.

If you think you may be in one of these areas and would like to help, you can use this template letter provided by the U.S. Chamber to send to your Congressional representatives.

If you would like assistance in submitting a letter, you can contact Anthony Lagunzad, Director of Political & Grassroots Programs at the Ohio Chamber here.