Rising income tax collections and falling unemployment rates suggest local economies are slowly rebounding in Northeast Ohio, at least for some communities.
A review of income tax collections for 2012 and 2011 in 18 Northeast Ohio Patch communities shows only one of the municipalities saw a drop in income tax revenue, Brecksville, while just one community saw income tax returns remain flat: Solon. Data was unavailable for Mayfield Heights.
In Solon, while the $39.5 million in net tax revenue in 2012 was flat compared to 2011, projections were for only $38 million in net tax revenue, so actual receipts beat the forecast, said Finance Director Dennis Kennedy.
The remaining 15 communities saw an increase in the revenue source they depend on most for police staffing, water service, street repair and other basic government services.
Twinsburg had an eye-opening increase of about 16 percent, but because of an over-estimation of corporate income taxes, about $2.3 million worth of refunds are expected to go out, said Finance Director Karen Howse.
That means the increase is actually about 4 percent.
An uptick in income tax revenue coincides with steady declines in unemployment rates for the Ohio counties Patch covers: Cuyahoga, Summit, Portage, Lake and Stark.
Ohio's statewide seasonally adjusted unemployment rate ticked down from 6.9 percent in October to 6.7 percent in December, according to the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.
Total Income Tax Collections for Ohio Patch CommunitiesCommunity 2012 2011 Percent Change Avon $11,644,477 $10,262,606 + 13.5
Avon Lake $9,955,996
$9,332,543 + 1.06
Brecksville $14,441,228 $14,710,595 - 1.8
Beachwood $27,640,037 $24,056,637 + 14.8
Cleveland Heights $22.4 million
+ 16.7 Cuyahoga Falls $19.4 million $18.6 million + 4.3
Fairlawn $9,562,876 $9,254,431
Kent $12,063,299 $10,711,766 + 12.6 Lakewood $19.25 million $18.8 million
Mentor $36.1 million $33.2 million + 8.7 North Canton $6,185,739 $5,969,366 + 3.6
Shaker Heights $21,099,130 $20,643,570 + 2.2
Solon* $39.5 million
$39.5 million +/- 0.0
Stow $13,564,115 $12,802,708 + 5.9
Strongsville $29,074,716 $27,896,316 + 4.2
Twinsburg** $23.1 million $19.9 million + 16.1
Westlake $21,384,693 $20,052,362 + 6.7
Mayfield Heights N/A
Source: all information was provided by the individual municipality's finance dept.
*Solon's 2012 figures are not final and are estimated.
**Twinsburg had an over-estimation of corporate income tax receipts, and will likely refund roughly $2.3 million. With refunds taken into account, that means the increase was roughly $900,000, or about 4 percent.