The Press Newspaper
The Ottawa County commissioners are reminding vendors that the sales and use tax rate will increase to 6.75 percent on July 1.
The current rate is 6.5 percent.
Vendors may apply for reimbursement for the cost of adjusting their cash registers. Application forms are available on the Ohio Department of Taxation website.
The commissioners earlier this year approved the tax increase after the county budget was hit by falling revenues and the prospect of being reimbursed by the state to meet the cost of required programs and services appears to be less likely.
With the increase, the county’s share will be 1.25 percent and the state portion will be 5.5 percent.
Steve Arndt, a commissioner, said the 0.25 percent increase will be in effect for three years and then automatically end.
“State funding for many services has been dropping,” he said when the commissioners voted for the increase. “Unfortunately we are the delivery point for those services and it really puts a bind on us. We’re at the point it’s going to reach core services.”
Arndt said the commissioners have cut the county’s operating budget by about $2.6 million over the past two years and the state was about six months in arrears in reimbursements to the county for service programs.
According to the county’s 2009 annual report, the sales tax generated $4.8 million, making it the largest revenue source. Property taxes, the second largest source, generated just under $3.3 million in revenue.
In 2008, the sales tax generated about $5.2 million – about $1.9 million more than the $3.3 million raised by property taxes.
According to the Ohio Department of Taxation, Sandusky and Lucas counties have sales tax rates of 1.25 percent in addition to the state rate of 5.5 percent. Wood County levies a 1 percent rate on top of the state’s portion.
Ottawa County’s 1 percent rate has been in effect since January, 1998.