Post-meeting release 1/26/23
Commissioners receive positive sales tax report, prepare for state operating budget season
[Tiffin, OH – Jan. 26, 2023] — The Seneca County Board of Commissioners received a positive financial update Thursday morning.
County Fiscal Officer Barb Patterson said sales tax revenue for January, which includes tax receipts primarily from the month of November, equaled $1,004,187.29.
Patterson said this is the highest sales tax total for January in the history of the county. She attributed some of it to inflation and an increase in the price of goods.
The January number was up about $95,000 from the January 2022 figure, and up about $24,000 from last month’s report.
The positive January sales tax number comes on the heels of an excellent 2022, as sales tax revenue was a record-high $11,544,301.65.
In other action, the commissioners received an update from Mike Dittoe, of High Bridge Consulting. High Bridge is contracted by the county to provide lobbying services in Columbus.
Dittoe said things are busy in Columbus, adding that a big upcoming date on the calendar is Jan. 31.
On that day, Gov. Mike DeWine is scheduled to present his State of the State Address and he also is expected to release the first iteration of the 2023-2024 operating budget.
Dittoe said the budget will likely see several changes before it is due on June 30th.
“The whole state is anxious to see (what is in the Governor’s first budget proposal),” Dittoe said, adding that he looks forward to working closely with State Senator William Reineke and State Representative Gary Click to help represent the interests of the county.
Dittoe said he and his team will continue to keep the board of commissioners updated as the process moves forward.
Commissioner Anthony Paradiso also asked Dittoe for an update on High Bridge’s efforts to work with legislators to make third-service emergency medical services considered “essential” in the state.
State legislation classifying the service as essential may come at no additional cost to the state, but it could be helpful by opening more federal and state grant opportunities for third-service EMS departments like Seneca County and Sandusky County EMS.
Commissioners’ office staff has worked with High Bridge and the Ohio EMS Chiefs Association to provide information to state legislators, and Dittoe said a meeting is to be scheduled soon with State Rep. Gary Click and his staff to keep making progress on the issue.
In other business, Paradiso said he had a meeting with stakeholders about a county housing study that the commissioners agreed to help fund in November.
The $14,000 study is being administered by DiSalvo Development Advisors. In 2019, the company worked with the city of Tiffin on a housing study.
Last year, Tiffin-Seneca Economic Partnership President and CEO Aaron Montz thanked the commissioners for supporting the study and said it is important because a lack of housing units is a major local issue. He said the 2019 Tiffin study showed that in the city alone there was a need for 450-550 housing units. Montz said there are hundreds of unfilled jobs locally, and part of this is because people cannot locate in the area due to a lack of housing options.
“We don’t need someone to come in and build five homes, we need them to come in and build 500 homes,” Montz said last November.
Paradiso said the need for housing units countywide could be as many as 1,000.
In new business, the board approved all resolutions and appropriations from the pre-meeting release.