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Collection of Toledo income taxes up in quarter

Figures promising, but officials wary of impact of Jeep plant idling

Toledo finance officials said the city’s income tax collections were up 5.1 percent at the end of last month over the same period last year.

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The city of Toledo's income tax has generated $30.1 million through March 31, officials say.

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The 2.25 percent tax, which is the city’s largest source of income for general fund operations, generated $30.1 million through March 31, John Zawisza, acting commissioner of taxation and treasury, told council’s finance committee Thursday.

Income taxes collected through withholdings on employee pay checks were up 6 percent in March compared to 2016 and the tax category overall is up this year by 10.6 percent, he said.

Finance officials said the increase could be attributed to changes under Ohio House Bill 5 that imposed higher penalties for late payments.

“Some of this growth is the result of companies filing earlier this year than in the past,” he said. “Most of the withholding employers are seeking more of a revenue safe than sorry attitude in getting the payments into us quicker.”

The city expects to collect $173.6 million from the tax this year, according to the 2017 general fund budget.

Finance officials said the tax income figures are promising but cautioned that Fiat Chrysler Automobiles announced recently that up to 3,200 workers at the Jeep Toledo Assembly Plant will be temporarily out of work for the next six months.

“We took that into consideration when we made our numbers for tax revenues,” George Sarantou, city finance director, said.

Melanie Campbell, the city’s budget commissioner, also told council that overtime for the police and fire departments was above budget so far this year. For the first three months, overtime for police was about $205,000 more than what it was for the same period in 2016. The fire department budget was nearly $250,000 higher compared to last year.

She said the overtime increase in the fire department could be attributed to the timing in the hiring of a new class of recruits.

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.

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