Clark County’s temporary sales tax rate to become permanent next year

The continuing .5% sales tax rate to go into effect in January 2022, after commissioners pass resolution.

The Board of Clark County Commissioners moved to continue the once temporary countywide sales and use tax rate.

Clark County has a maximum sales tax rate of 7.25%, with more than 5% going to the state and 1.5% going to the county. The county’s sales tax rate is 1%, plus an additional tax rate of a half-percent that commissioners voted in 2016 to extend for five years.

After completing the two required public hearings on the issue, commissioners passed two resolutions during their Wednesday meeting to continue the .5% sales tax rate, making it permanent. The permanent rate will go into effect in January 2022, according to both resolutions.

Clark County Administrator Jennifer Hutchinson previously told the News-Sun that she and her administrative team recommended to the commissioners that they proceed with making the half-percent sales tax rate permanent.

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Clark County’s overall sales tax rate of 7.25% rests in the median of sales tax rates in Ohio, she said, with more than 50 other counties in the state having the same rate. Another 30 have lower sales tax rates, and less than five have higher sales tax rates than Clark County.

The move to make the rate permanent would prepare the county for changes made at the state level, she said. She pointed to the state’s decision in 2017 to cease allowing counties to tax Medicaid services, which she said contributed a big hit to the county’s general fund.

Overall, the sales tax generates roughly $9 million annually, and money collected from tax makes up roughly 60% of the county’s general fund. Services that are paid for using this sales tax revenue, Hutchinson said, are typically public safety services and other community services, such as the Clark County Sheriff’s Office, the county’s court system, the prosecutor’s office, and veterans’ services.

The loss of revenue from the sales tax rate would result in a 20% cut in services, Hutchinson said.

Although the commissioners moved to continue the sales and use tax rate, the rate could potentially be repealed in the future. The rate has been continued by commissioners since its introduction, with the rate of .5% being introduced in 2008.

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