Ohio Sales Tax…..let’s review some numbers

We received an inquiry about the amount of sales tax collected by the State of Ohio and Lake County, so we did some research:

First a little history – did you know that the Ohio General Assembly enacted the State’s first sales tax on January 1, 1935.  The rate was 3%.

Currently, the state general sales tax rate of Ohio is 5.75%.  The Lake County sales tax rate is 1.25%.

The combined sales tax rate for Lake County, OH is 7%. This is the total of state and county sales tax rates.

Here is a State of Ohio map that gives the sales tax by each county:  https://www.tax.ohio.gov/Portals/0/tax_analysis/tax_data_series/sales_and_use/salestaxmap.pdf

Here is a history of the major changes in the tax law:  https://www.tax.ohio.gov/portals/0/taxeducation/history/taxation%20in%20ohio_history.pdf

We found a Plain Dealer article dated January 26, 2012 that discusses the approval of the .5% sales tax hike by the then Lake County commissioners.  We thought it would be interesting to determine if what they said did become reality.  They reported that the increase in sales tax would generate an additional $20 million in annual revenue for the County.

Plain Dealer 2012 article on sales tax

Here is a schedule we complied for the years 2008 – 2017.  We analyzed the sales tax revenue the State returned to Lake County.  (We added Geauga and Lorain for our friends in those counties)
Of course, the State had to “dip their beak” and retain 1% as a “handling fee”.

Ohio sales tax – Lake County

You will note that in 2011, prior to the Commissioners increasing the sales tax rate by .5%, the annual tax collected was $23.027,473. and in 2017 the annual sales tax revenue was $46,071,535.  That is in excess of the $20 million promised in the Plain Dealer article.   So we give the Commissioners a “thumbs up” for their true statement.

In addition, we can verify that the same Commissioners did reduce the inside millage on the property taxes from 10.0 mills to the current 8.9 mills.


For the ten year period the total sales tax revenue returned to the counties was over $20 BILLION, and the State kept over $209 million.


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