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WKSU, our public radio partners in Ohio and across the region and NPR are all continuing to work on stories on the latest developments with the coronavirus and COVID-19 so that we can keep you informed.

State's Revenues Take Hit After Coronavirus Closures

Karen Kasler

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 revenuewas 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 fundis 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.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.
Karen Kasler
Contact Karen at 614/578-6375 or at kkasler@statehousenews.org.