Fri., 1:44pm: Ohio schools get $45 million in casino taxes

COLUMBUS — Schools in Ohio are due to get more than $45 million next month from casino tax revenue, according to state figures released this week.

The Ohio Department of Taxation figures released this week show that the $45.4 million estimated payment is a 19-percent increase from the first semi-annual distribution in January. The higher number reflects the March opening of the state’s fourth casino, in Cincinnati.

Since the distribution is based on head counts, the exact amount each school district will receive won’t be known until the new school year begins.

The new estimated payment compares with $38 million received by schools in January for the previous six months, according to The Columbus Dispatch, which reported the figures Friday.

The figures showed that $70.6 million went to the state from casino taxes in the quarter ending June 30. Cities, counties, the Ohio Racing Commission, a law-enforcement training fund, the Casino Control Commission and a problem-gambling and addiction fund all receive distributions.

Under the formula, 51 percent of tax proceeds is earmarked for counties, with 34 percent going to schools. The host cities – Cleveland, Toledo, Columbus and Cincinnati – share 5 percent. The Casino Control Commission and the Racing Commission each get 3 percent, and the law-enforcement training fund and the problem-gambling programs each get 2 percent.

Since the first casino opened last year, $245.2 million has been collected from the gross casino tax.