Warren County: New year, new sales tax rate to help pay for new jail

12:55 p.m Tuesday, Jan. 2, 2018 Local
Warren County shoppers will pay an aditional 0.25 percent in sales tax this year. NICK GRAHAM/STAFF

Warren County’s sale tax increased 0.25 percent, effective Jan. 1, bringing the overall rate to 7 percent.

The increase was approved last year by the Warren County Board of Commissioners to help pay off debt on a new county jail within five years, rather than pay the cost of financing the debt over a longer period.

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“This nominal sales tax increase sets Warren County’s sales tax rate to match the border counties of Hamilton and Preble as well as the adjacent regional shopping district in Butler County known as Liberty Center, and is still lower than the 7.25 percent rate in Montgomery County,” according to a press release issued in July when the commissioners approved the tax increase.

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Montgomery County’s rate includes 5.75 percent in state sales tax, a 1 percent county tax and 0.5 percent for the Greater Dayton Transit Authority.

Warren County expects to raise $10 million a year through the 0.25 percent increase.

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“With this in mind, the Board also approved a 1.5-mill property tax reduction in the levy collected for the Warren County Board of Developmental Disabilities with the intention of maintaining the rollback through the duration of the sales tax increase used to pay for the jail financing,” according to the July press release issued to announce the tax hike.

On Tuesday, Warren County was still finalizing a contract with the architect and the selection process for the construction manager for the jail project.

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“Hopefully, we’ll have things a lot more locked up by the end of the month or shortly thereafter,” Deputy Administrator Martin Russell said.

Shoppers are already paying the higher rate, but revenues from the sales-tax increase aren’t expected to show up until later this year.

“The sales tax comes in about three months in arrears,” Russell said.

Russell said he calculated that the 7 percent was in place when he made a purchase at the Premium Outlets Mall in Monroe on Monday.

The Ohio Department of Taxation notified vendors of the increase in November, according to Gary Gudmundson, spokesman for the department.

“That gives them time to make the adjustments to their equipment, their systems,” Gudmundson said.

Consumers might not notice the increase.

“Some people are certainly more interested and aware of the sales tax than others,” Gudmundson said. “Eventually, it’s just part of the cost of doing business.”

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