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Week in Review: Feb. 11, 2024

Written on Feb 9, 2024


Tax revenues are down about half a percent for the fiscal year so far after another underperformance in January, but the overall revenue picture and sizable underspending leave Ohio's budget on solid footing, Office of Budget and Management (OBM) Director Kim Murnieks told Hannah News Wednesday. Outsize refunds linked to a 2022 tax law change are the main driver of under-estimate income tax collections, she said. According to preliminary revenue figures from OBM, the income tax missed estimates by 5.1% or $57.6 million. Sales taxes were under estimates by about $18.5 million, with a 2.2% or $24 million underperformance in the non-auto sales tax, which was partially offset by a 4% or $5.8 million overperformance in the auto sales tax. Total January tax revenues of $2.58 billion were $70.4 million or 2.7% below estimates.


The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced Friday that the nation added 353,000 nonfarm jobs in January with the unemployment rate remaining at 3.7%. BLS said the number of unemployed persons, at 6.1 million, was little changed in January. Among the major worker groups, unemployment rates for adult men (3.6%), adult women (3.2%), teenagers (10.6%), Whites (3.4%), Blacks (5.3%), Asians (2.9%) and Hispanics (5.0%) all showed little or no change in January. The number of long-term unemployed, those jobless for 27 weeks or more, was little changed at 1.3 million. The long-term unemployed accounted for 20.8% of all unemployed persons


Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose announced Friday that the 88 county boards of elections had begun sending ballots to military and overseas voters, officially starting the primary election set for Tuesday, March 19 in the state. Information for members of the military and other U.S. citizens living internationally on how to request and return an absentee ballot is available at All other Ohio voters can begin voting on Wednesday, Feb. 21 either in-person or via mail-in absentee ballot.


A report released recently by personal finance site WalletHub found Ohio has the 18th-highest amount of median student loan payments, at $192 per month. The report referenced new rules from the Biden administration, but also said around 43.8 million Americans owe a combined $1.64 trillion in loans. This averages out to over $37,000 in debt for each borrower as the payment moratorium has come to an end. Ohio was also second-highest among neighboring states. Their rankings include the following:

- Pennsylvania, 13th-highest nationally at $205.

- Michigan, 32nd-highest nationally and tied with Idaho at $177.

- Indiana, 34th-highest nationally at $176.

- Kentucky, 47th-highest nationally at $159. This equated to fourth-lowest nationally.

- West Virginia, lowest nationally at $139.

The full report is available at


Business organizations told lawmakers studying property taxes Wednesday that the issue is a top concern for companies and urged a holistic look at how many taxing entities Ohio has. The Ohio Farm Bureau, meanwhile, expressed interest in finding a way to control volatility and to have the retrospective calculations in the Current Agricultural Use Value (CAUV) somehow take into account current-day dynamics. The Joint Committee on Property Tax Review and Reform called its third hearing Wednesday, with testimony from Chris Ferruso on behalf of National Federation of Independent Business-Ohio (NFIB), Tony Long on behalf of the Ohio Chamber of Commerce, and Nikki Cooper of the Ohio Business Roundtable, as well as Leah Curtis of the Ohio Farm Bureau.

 This feature was provided by Hannah New Service and selected for you by OSCPA Government Relations Staff.

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