Local schools will get about $60,000 of Ohio's initial $38 million from casino taxes

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FROM STAFF REPORTS

Aurora -- The local school district will receive the second highest amount of money in Portage County from Ohio's casino taxes at the end of January.

The figures released Jan. 9 by the Ohio Department of Taxation show that roughly $38 million will be distributed to more than 1,000 educational institutions statewide.

Aurora will get $60,339, second in Portage County to Kent's $68,990. Ravenna will get $58,183, Streetsboro $44,995 and Twinsburg in Summit County $90,229.

"We are grateful for any extra funds and will put them to good use," said school district Treasurer Bill Volosin.

"The casino money is calculated as a per student funding figure equivalent to only $20 per student. In total, it equates to 0.2 percent of our annual operating budget and we would hope that our share of the amount will at least remain the same or increase in the future."

Overall, Portage County schools are slated to receive $495,000, while Summit County schools are expected to get $1.62 million. Private schools are excluded.

According to the Department of Taxation, the funds are to be released twice a year. The revenue comes from a 33 percent tax levied on daily gross casino revenues.

The coming disbursement, which is to be paid out by Jan. 31, 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.

According to the 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.

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 "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 3 percent, the Law Enforcement Training Fund 2 percent and the final 2 percent is given to the Problem Casino Gambling and Addictions Fund.

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