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Ohio sales tax revenues rise nearly 7% first half of year

Sales taxes collected by the state and disbursed back to counties in June rose in six of nine Southwest Ohio counties examined.

Consumer spending is a closely watched economic indicator, accounting for about 70 percent of the U.S. economy. Trends in consumer spending register on county budgets in the form of sales tax revenues.

The percentage increase in sales taxes reimbursed to nine area counties in June ranged from a 1.5 percent gain in Butler County from June 2012 to June 2013, to a nearly 8 percent jump in Champaign County for the same period.

Sales tax disbursements in June in Greene and Montgomery counties dropped 4 and 2 percent respectively from a year ago. Also there was a less than 1 percent change in disbursements last month in Clark and Warren counties.

This newspaper examined sales tax figures for Butler, Champaign, Clark, Greene, Hamilton, Miami, Montgomery, Preble and Warren counties.

Statewide, $178.9 million in sales tax revenues were distributed back to Ohio’s 88 counties, including regional transit authority taxes collected, compared to $167.8 million in June 2012, a 6.6 percent rise, according to Ohio Dept. of Taxation.

Year-to-date, Ohio sales and transit taxes distributed to counties totals more than $1 billion. The same January to June time period of 2012, distributions totaled $948.5 million, rising 6.9 percent year-over-year, also according to the state tax department.

Montgomery County received $6,160,056 for sales taxes in June, down approximately 2 percent from June 2012, state and county records showed. However, John Parks, Montgomery County budget and financial planning manager, noted the county’s disbursements for the first half of the year are up 2.5 percent over the first six months of 2012.

Sales tax revenues comprise 50 percent of Montgomery county’s whole general fund budget for the year of $134.5 million, according to Parks. Sales taxes, property taxes and investment income are the three biggest components of the budget, similar to other counties.

June sales tax distributions are sales tax revenues paid back to counties by the state, based on sales taxes actually collected in April. Sales taxes collected in April and distributed in June are primarily based on sales of goods and services that actually happened in March.

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