Columbus, OH

Columbus Has $1 Billion in Resources for the First Time Ever

Liz Fe Lifestyle

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On Friday, Columbus auditor Megan Kilgore announced that for the first time in history, the city of Columbus has acquired an estimated $1 billion in resources. This is a $63 million increase in the city’s revenue for the year 2021. Kilgore details the reasons for the expansion of resources in a letter to Mayor Andrew Ginther and City Attorney Zach Klein.

The action that the federal government took, specifically the rounds of stimulus payments to households, helped out local economies greatly. As a result, personal income in Ohio increased by 14.6 percent in just the first quarter of 2021, which is the largest one quarter increase since 1948.

Another reason is that more people in the Columbus community were able to keep their jobs than expected, be rehired earlier, or receive pay raises and bonuses during the pandemic. This led to a higher revenue stream from income tax collections that was not anticipated. The city also received a local government fund of $2.1 million, an increase in casino tax revenue of $3.5 million and a refund of $3.5 million from a City Internal Service Fund.

Predicting the financial situation during the pandemic proved to be more challenging than anticipated as businesses and workers constantly were required to make adjustments. Since 2020 and 2021 have both been rather ambiguous years, there is no telling what the financial circumstances will be like in 2022.

“Paramount to this revenue estimate increase is the bold action taken by the Federal Reserve and the U.S. Government. This would have been a very different year for our revenues had federal stimulus not permeated nearly every facet of our local economy. This is why we are not out of the woods yet. Many of these funds were one-time revenues or a result of unique circumstances and cannot be counted on in 2022."

-Megan Kilgore

The auditor stated that $2.4 million was added to the city’s funding, boosting it up to $87.5 million, which is the largest amount in Columbus’ history. Kilgore also claimed that the city’s Rainy Day Fund had not been touched in 2020 or 2021.

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