portsmouth-dailytimes.com

Casino funds assist county coffers

Bret Bevens, PDT Sports Writer

September 10, 2012

FRANK LEWIS


PDT Staff Writer


Scioto County Commissioners say they expect the county’s share of the new Ohio Casino revenues to be a help to the county’s overall General Fund.


Scioto County Commission Chairman Skip Riffe said the last check the county received from the state was at the end of July and was just over $69,700, but he expects future revenue to be much higher.


“Our next distribution will come at the end of October, so we do not know what that one will be,” Riffe said. “We are hoping it is a little bit higher. The first one was only on about two months worth of operation and there were only two locations operating - Toledo and Cleveland. I believe some time in October, Columbus is scheduled to open, and then some time next year, hopefully in the spring, Cincinnati will be open. So next year’s money should be better.”


Riffe said, with Columbus swinging into operation in October, the January distribution will include that revenue.


“We’re optimistic it will be decent monies,” Riffe said. “The Department of Taxation has estimated the revenue at about $1.1 million per year for Scioto County.”


Would that revenue help with the county’s current deficit budget?


“It will help us over all, most definitely,” Riffe said.


According to Riffe, more good news is on the way as they continue to battle the huge deficit that resulted from the now defunct Juvenile Detention Center, which had left an over $800,000 hole in the budget when it was closed, forcing the General Fund to bail it out. Recently the county was able to put a large dent in that deficit, leaving the balance at around $577,000.


“We’re going to have some more here very soon cut off of that remaining deficit on the Juvenile Detention Center,” Riffe said. “Probably in the next two or three weeks, we will have at least another $200,000 off of it.”


Riffe credits a surprising increase in the county’s revenue.


“Our sales tax (revenue) is just unbelievable,” Riffe said.


The county appears to be on target, and may be ahead of target, in their plan for recovery from their designation of being in a fiscal emergency.


Frank Lewis may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 232, or at flewis@heartlandpublications.com