Local schools getting casino cash

The Ohio Department of Taxation has released its projected figures for the first casino tax disbursement since the first two casinos opened in May.

According to ODT, Seneca County is projected to receive $206,626.38. The amount is based on public school student population within the county.

In 2009, Ohio voters passed a constitutional amendment that provides for four casino facilities to be located in the state. The gross casino revenue tax is split among seven funds benefiting individual counties, including the local school districts.

Thirty-four percent of the tax revenue goes toward the county student fund that is remitted

directly to the school districts by Jan. 31 and Aug. 31.

For Tiffin City Schools, the amount is not a surprise.

The amount of $59,417.98, was expected from earlier projections the school board had received, according to Superintendent Donald Coletta.

Coletta said the money is going into the district’s general fund to be used for day-to-day operations.

“Any amount of money is important to us with the tight budget that we have,” Coletta said.

Dona Kaufman, director of Bridges Community Academy, said the school has not decided what to do with the money yet. Bridges received $2,694.59.

“We’re excited. It is not a huge amount, but we value every cent that comes our way,” Kaufman said. “We looked at it as a support that we weren’t expecting.”

Old Fort Local School District is projected for $9,753.85.

The board has not decided on what to do with the money, but it will be discussed at the board’s regular meeting Jan. 14, said Treasurer Jaime Pearson.

Mohawk Local School District Treasurer, Roy Swartz said the district’s projected money – $20,452.64 – is to be put into the district’s general fund to be used toward day-to-day operations that is part of the overall revenue to assist in replacing some cuts that have been made in the past.

Like many other districts, Fostoria City Schools has not discussed what the money will be used toward. Treasurer Norm Elchert said the money will be discussed in the board’s next meeting, Jan. 14.

What is important is, Elchert said, “(is that) more money to the schools helps in benefiting our kids, and that is what we are here to do.”

According to the ODT website, distributions are to be made on a quarterly basis, except for school districts, which will receive distributions semi-annually beginning this month.

The total tax revenue collected from the two casinos during the fourth quarter was $19,760,132.67, according to ODT.