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August Tax Revenue Down By "Surprising" Amount; Budget Director Cautious But Not Worried

Karen Kasler
Budget director Tim Keen at an event in July 2013.

The money the state brought in from taxes was down last month, and that has officials saying they’ll be watching the next few months very carefully.

Tax receipts for August were 4% below estimates, and the money brought in from personal income taxes was down $63 million – nearly 9% less than expected. State budget director Tim Keen said this is surprising given Ohio’s job and wage growth, but no one is panicking. “We likely need to see a few more months. I mean, one month does not create a trend for us, so we need to analyze the underlying data,” Keen said.

Cigarette and alcohol taxes came in above estimates, but sales and use taxes and commercial activity taxes were down too. Keen said there are some accounting specifics that could be part of the issue, but he said because of what he calls conservative budgeting, the state’s fiscal situation is still sound.

Contact Karen at 614-578-6375 or at