Morning Headlines: Ohio Misses Mark on Income Tax, City Drops Columbus Day for Election Day

Feb 11, 2019

Here are your morning headlines for Monday, Feb. 11:

  • Ohio misses mark on income tax;
  • An Ohio city drops Columbus Day for Election Day;
  • Akron-Canton Airport eyes rebound in passengers, flights;
  • Sherrod Brown wraps up weekend in New Hampshire;
  • State forest division expands protections to 43 counties;
  • Cincinnati Reds to bring back old-school uniforms;
  • Buckeyes win third straight basketball game;

Ohio misses mark on income-tax
Ohio income tax collections have missed their mark on estimates for two consecutive months. The Columbus Dispatch reports income tax revenue was 6 percent below estimates in December and more than 7 percent below estimates last month, a total of $124 million short. State budget director Kimberly Murnieks said they believe part of the reason for the lower numbers is timing, due to people modifying how they are paying estimated tax payments based on federal tax law. Murnieks said state tax collections still remain on target due to the sales tax coming in 2 percent above projections. She said the budget is still heading toward a year-end surplus largely due to declining Medicaid caseloads.

An Ohio city drops Columbus Day for Election Day
One Ohio city has decided to switch the paid day off previously given to city employees in observance of Columbus Day to Election Day. The Sandusky Register reports city commissioners in Sandusky recently authorized the change. The shift takes effect this year. City Manager Eric Wobser said the swap gives employees a day off to vote. He said the switch also was made because Columbus Day has become "controversial." Some places have abolished Columbus Day which critics say honors the mistreatment and colonization of Native Americans while celebrating explorer Christopher Columbus.

Akron-Canton Airport eyes rebound in passengers, flights
Both passenger traffic and flights are down significantly over the last four years at Akron-Canton Airport, but its new CEO told Crains Cleveland Business the airport is positioned to grow. Ren Camacho told Crains that a $34-million gate modernization and expansion project will “position” the airport for a rebound. The work is the final part of last year’s renovation plan. He added that the creation of the new Pro Football Hall of Fame Village is expected to create a lot of new traffic and business travel remains strong from big corporations, locally based, like Goodyear, Timken, TimkenSteel, Diebold Nixdorf and the J.M. Smucker company.

Sherrod Brown wraps up weekend in New Hampshire
Senator Sherrod Brown spent another weekend out of town on his tour to test the waters for a potential presidential bid, and Cleveland.com reports his trip to New Hampshire shows he may be picking up some steam. The site reports Brown picked up bigger crowds during appearances in New Hampshire  Brown is in the midst of what he’s calling his “dignity of work” tour, hitting several key presidential states to gauge whether he’ll officially run for president. He’s expected to make a decision by next month.

State forest division expands protections to 43 counties
Ohio's Department of Natural Resources says its forestry division has expanded its Forest Fire Protection Area to now include all parts of 43 counties in the state. The expanded area also contains roughly 580 fire departments for an increase of more than 250 departments. Greg Guess is deputy chief and wildfire program coordinator for the department's Division of Forestry. He said the division looks forward to partnering with more rural fire departments to increase wildfire protection efforts.

Cincinnati Reds to bring back old-school uniforms
The 2019 Cincinnati Reds will play games in 15 sets of throwback uniforms including navy blue and a "Palm Beach" style during a season-long celebration of the 1869 Red Stockings who pioneered professional baseball. Historians credit the team that barnstormed from coast-to-coast, beating all opponents, in post-Civil War America with elevating baseball into the nation's sport. 

Buckeyes win third straight basketball game
Andre Wesson scored the last of his 15 points on a tie-breaking dunk with 20 seconds left Sunday to help Ohio State pull off a 55-52 victory at Indiana. The Buckeyes (16-7, 6-6 Big Ten) won their third straight overall and added a key road victory to their postseason resume.