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Ohio ends fiscal year with good sales tax and income tax numbers which means a lot of extra money

dollar bills money
Mark Lennihan

The fiscal year that ended on June 30 closed with a bang, according to Ohio’s Office of Budget and Management. But more than half of the extra money in the state’s coffers is already spoken for.

OBM’s June report shows the state’s total revenues for the fiscal year were up 12% over estimates, or $4.3 billion. But the state isn't as flush with cash as that might suggest.

"The cash balance I would not completely characterize as a surplus," said budget director Kim Murnieks. "The recent capital budget did allocate some one-time uses for some of the additional funding, including using some of that cash to fund the state capital budget instead of borrowing and issuing more state debt. And that will save taxpayers more than a billion and a half dollars long term in the future."

Murnieks said the capital budget allows the first $1.5 billion to be utilized as cash and then more could be allocated toward the capital budget, up to $2.7 billion.

The June report shows $10.7 billion in personal income tax collections, which is 20.8% more than what was forecasted, and sales tax receipts are up 5.8% over estimates. But Murnieks said consumer spending during the pandemic is starting to slow down, so sales tax revenue will likely go down too.

There have been many suggestions on spending the extra funds — both these budget funds as well as federal COVID-19 relief dollars that haven't been allocated yet. Food bankshave been vocal in their request, which have said they're still struggling with the effects of the pandemic while they're seeing increases related to inflation.

In an interview for "The State of Ohio" last month, Murnieks said, "we will continue to see how we can, again, utilize these dollars to those investments that really have a lasting impact."

Copyright 2022 The Statehouse News Bureau