The complex deal to use casino-tax money to buy Nationwide Arena has hit a snag: there’s not enough money to make loan payments. Officials expected to pay off the loans with taxes from the new Columbus casino. But casino tax revenues are below projections. The city and county have not made a single loan payment for the arena.
A little history
To keep the Blue Jackets from leaving town, the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority bought Nationwide Arena and gave the team free rent.
Ohio’s looking at an $800 million surplus at the end of its fiscal year, and Republican Governor John Kasich has been touting $400 million in tax cuts in the latest mid-term budget, known as the mid-biennium review.
A few income tax increases and levies for operating expenses went before Miami Valley voters in yesterday’s primary election, and preliminary results show voters largely said yes to raising municipal taxes.
Dayton voters will be asked to renew a .5 percent increase to the city’s income tax on Tuesday’s primary ballot.
Dayton’s income tax is currently 2.25 percent, but the permanent rate is 1.75 percent—the last half a percent has always been temporary. Voters have renewed it overwhelmingly four times since it was first passed in 1984.
City officials hope to cut the costs of bringing the tax to a vote in the future by asking voters to pass the increase with no time limit.