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Published: Friday, 5/25/2012

City income tax collection grows 9.3% over early '11

BY CLAUDIA BOYD-BARRETT
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The city of Toledo released its latest tax revenue figures Thursday, indicating a continued increase in the numbers compared with last year.

Through the end of April, total tax collections were 9.3 percent higher over the same period in 2011, despite a $1.1 million dip in employee tax withholding last month. City finance officials attributed that to timing because not all of the first-quarter income tax revenue was in the city's data system before the end of April.

"It's still consistent with our projections for the year," Finance Director Patrick McLean said.

The finance director said revenue could fall in May compared with the same month in 2011. That's because a one-off stock option last year sent tax collections artificially high, he explained.

Mr. McLean sounded a note of caution over the continued economic crisis in Europe, which he said still poses a threat to the U.S. economy.

Council Finance Chairman George Sarantou called Thursday's numbers positive, and said they show the city is "recovering at a robust rate."

He also called on the Bell administration to consider putting revenue generated by the soon-to-be-opened Hollywood Casino Toledo into a rainy-day fund to help the city weather future economic difficulties. Councilmen Adam Martinez and D. Michael Collins offered alternative suggestions for the cash.

Mr. McLean urged them not to get ahead of themselves. The $3.4 million expected from the casino this year has already been incorporated into the city's budget, he said.

"All these things are good and noble purposes. We would like to do them as well," he said. "We're not there yet."



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