Tallmadge Schools' gets first installment of Ohio's casino profits

Tallmadge expects to receive $51,249 for first payment

by Holly Schoenstein | reporter Published:

Tallmadge -- Gamblers are contributing money to the budgets of the state's school districts.

According to figures released last month by the Ohio Department of Taxation, roughly $38 million will be allocated to the more than 1,000 various educational institutions across Ohio as the state distributes its first revenues collected from taxes on casino profits.

Locally, Summit County school districts are slated to receive more than $1.62 million from the state during the biannual payments. Allocations are based on student population and enrollment figures. Private schools are excluded from receiving any of the funds.

Tallmadge City School District, which has approximately 2,500 students, is expecting to receive $51,249 in casino-tax revenue, according to the Department of Taxation breakdown of fund distributions. Akron City Schools' distribution of $463,671 is the highest in the county, and Stow-Munroe Falls' is in second place with $111,597.

The coming disbursement is to be paid by Jan. 31.

Tallmadge Schools' Treasurer Jeff Hostetler said the district's share works out to be $21 per student. The money will go into the general fund that's used to pay for daily operating expenses and can be used as the district sees fit.

"The district is appreciative of any additional revenue as we have seen many significant cuts from the state over the years. However, I do not want anyone to think that the casino money is going to solve the ongoing school funding crises in the state of Ohio," Hostetler said. "First, they don't begin to make up for the cuts we have experienced, and secondly, the amount of casino monies we will receive will be less than one-half of 1 percent of our operating budget.

"Years ago when the lottery monies were designated for schools, people thought that it was going to be the solution to funding public schools. It was not, nor are the casino monies going to have much of an impact," he continued.

This will be the first allocation since Ohio's casinos in Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo have opened. A fourth casino in Cincinnati is slated to open this spring, while a Hard Rock-themed racino in Northfield Park is expected to open late this year.

According to the state's overall breakdown, revenue accumulates in the Ohio Casino Tax Revenue Fund, and by the 15th day following the end of a calendar quarter, money is transferred from that fund into various areas. The money comes from a 33 percent tax levied on daily gross casino revenues, which is the remaining balance after winners are paid out.

Ohio schools will receive 34 percent of the revenue, while 51 percent is divvied out to county governments. An additional 5 percent is allocated to casino 24"host" cities.

The remaining balance is split between other smaller funds. The Casino Control Commission Fund will receive 3 percent, the Ohio State Racing Commission Fund receives 3 percent, the Law Enforcement Training Fund receives 2 percent and the final 2 percent is given to the 2Problem Casino Gambling and Addictions Fund.

Hostetler said the amount of Tallmadge's second disbursement, which is to be paid in August, and future payments are unknown because they're dependent on the amount of casino revenue for each taxing period.

Stow Sentry Reporter Jeremy Nobile contributed to this report.

Email: hschoenstein@recordpub.com

Phone: 330-541-9428

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