UP: Marathon Petroleum Corp.’s involvement as a primary sponsor of this week’s LPGA Marathon Classic at Highland Meadows Golf Club will have a trickle-down effect on Findlay and Hancock County. The Ronald McDonald House Charities and the Jamie Farr Scholarship Fund administered by the Toledo Community Foundation benefit, but a dozen local charities will be among those benefiting, too. They are The Arts Partnership of Hancock County, Camp Fire Northwest Ohio, Christian Clearing House, Findlay Family YMCA, Friends of the Findlay-Hancock County Library, Gliding Stars of Findlay, Putnam County Educational Service Center, Putnam County YMCA, Ryan’s Place, Specialized Alternatives for Families and Youth, Special Kids Therapy, and the United Way of Hancock County. The tournament has raised more than $8.1 million since 1984, and last year’s event raised $378,000. Thanks again, Marathon.
UP: The announcement last week that Cleveland will be host to the 2016 Republican National Convention was great news for Ohio, but also for Findlay native Jo Ann Davidson. A former speaker of the Ohio House of Representatives, Davidson is the Ohio committeewoman on the Republican National Committee and remains active in public service and in politics. She has been to nine of the last 10 conventions, but won’t have to go far for the next one. Davidson’s first convention was 1976, when Gerald R. Ford was nominated. She missed the 1980 convention, but has been to every one since.
DOWN: Ohio’s casino taxes over the past year fell short of what state officials had predicted, which means local governments and schools may be getting less than they had anticipated. The state’s four casinos generated $273.4 million in taxes in the fiscal year that ended in June. That was more than $36 million less than the state had predicted. The state executive budget for the fiscal year estimated that casinos would bring in more than $309 million in taxes and the Department of Taxation said that the gambling revenue missed the target by nearly 12 percent. The casino tax may become even harder to predict. Five “racinos” have opened since casino gambling was introduced in Ohio in 2012, and two more are scheduled to open in the coming months.
DOWN: Ohio overpaid more than $88 million in food-stamp benefits last year. In all, the state misspent 4.1 percent of the nearly $3 billion received from the federal government. The state’s error rate was up slightly from the previous year, and above the national rate of 3.2 percent for tax-dollar waste. That ranks Ohio 21st in the country. While officials say the state’s error rate has dropped significantly in the past six years, the 4.1 percent rate is still unacceptable. They say errors include incorrect calculations made by county caseworkers, honest mistakes, and some instances of fraud, and that a new computer system could reduce the rate. We hope so.
UP: With the next election less than a month away, in some places, Secretary of State Jon Husted did the prudent thing by appointing three people to the Lucas County elections board even though a related legal challenge is pending. Husted filled the vacancies on the Lucas County board in Toledo to ensure the Aug. 5 special election is handled properly. Earlier he had removed three members and said the board was “plagued by dysfunction.” He then declined to appoint the local Republicans’ two recommended replacements because he said the nominees contributed to the board’s problems. That decision is being appealed to the Ohio Supreme Court.