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State's Revenues Take Hit After Coronavirus Closures

Bars and restaurants in Ohio closed on March 15, and the stay at home order took effect March 23. And the state is now starting to feel the financial effects of those and other restrictions imposed to halt the spread of coronavirus.

Last month’s preliminary state revenue was down 10.5% from estimates, off by $159.4 million.  Sales and use taxes missed projections by more than 8%, or $68 million. Personal income taxes were off by more than 5%, or $22.3 million.

But budget director Kimberly Murnieks said it’s only going to get worse, with the tax deadline moved from April 15 to July 15.

“April is typically our largest month for income tax collection and we expect to see a significant amount of money shifted out of April and into the future fiscal year," Murnieks said.

Murnieks said the state has a budget surplus of $90 million now, and spending cuts have been started.

And she says using the $2.7 billion in the rainy day fund is a last resort, though Gov. Mike DeWine has said it’s possible and lawmakers have taken the first step toward permitting that in a package of legislation passed last month.

Copyright 2020 The Statehouse News Bureau. To see more, visit The Statehouse News Bureau.