DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday to raise the county sales tax.
The rate will increase 0.25 percent which Commissioners say will raise an additional $19 million in annual revenue for the county.
According to county leaders, the final straw calling for the tax increase was a loss of $9 million from the Medicaid managed care sales tax, which was eliminated.
“It’s one of those things that we were not really excited to do. but on the other hand, we really didn’t have a choice,” said Debbie Lieberman, Montgomery County commissioner.
Over the past ten years, the county has cut 500 employees and lowered its budget by $31 million, Lieberman said. That has happened because the state has cut the amount of funding the county can receive, she said.
The new revenue will provide resources to four groups: the community, people, criminal justice and government infrastructure, according to the county.
Officials say arts and culture, bail reform, government building improvements and preschool programs will benefit directly from the revenue generated by the increase.
“The benefit’s going to be to our workforce, to the Preschool Promise, to criminal justice,” Lieberman said. “We haven’t been able to have an increase in criminal justice in years.”
Currently, Montgomery County sales tax totals 7.25 percent, with 1 percent going to the county, 5.75 percent going to the state and 0.5 percent for the RTA, according to officials. The increase will raise that sales tax to 7.5 percent.
“I don’t think it’ll be a big, big change,” said Kevin Bonnett, owner of Bonnett’s Bookstore in Dayton’s Oregon District. “People still want to buy books.”
Bonnett said he is hopeful the tax increase won’t take much of a toll on business.
“From a customer standpoint, it’s probably not going to be that impactful,” Bonnett said. “But on my end, I’ll still have to make up that extra tax at the end of the day.”
The increase will take effect October 1.