Sales Tax Revenue Climbing as Oil & Gas Development Advances

Strong revenue from sales-tax collections in the Mahoning Valley between March and May suggest strong retail sales and improving consumer confidence, officials say.
The tax, administered by both the Ohio Department of Taxation and each of Ohio’s 88 counties, is a partial benchmark of economic activity in a region.
Both Mahoning and Trumbull counties generally posted modest year-over-year gains in March, April and May, the latest months for which data is available,
But in Columbiana County, where a flurry of shale activity is occurring, sales-tax revenues increased by more than 10 percent in each of the months, as reported by the state. 
“By comparing these figures on a year-to-year basis, you arrive at some sort of gauge on how a particular county is doing,” said Gary Gudmundson, a spokesman for the ODT. “Do they tell the whole story — no. There’s a lot of unseen activity, not subject to sales tax, that’s occurring.”
Compared with 2011, Columbiana County collected 11 percent more sales tax in March, 15 percent more in April and 16 percent more in May this year. The county collected $1,162,689 this May versus $1,000,793 in May 2011. 
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