Casino tax revenue goes toward state schools

(FOX19) - There are four casinos in the state of Ohio, but all 88 counties are getting a piece of the pie.

Of the gross tax revenue collected, some of it is split up to benefit cities that house the gaming facilities, and counties, based on population.

But, it's 34% of that money that's getting kicked back to public school systems statewide.

"It's not a game-changer for us, but we're very appreciative of any new revenue source," said Steve Kramer, superintendent of Madeira City Schools.

But, the money given to schools is a welcomed sight for those being asked to do more with less.

"We put the money in the general fund, and so, there's more in there than there would have been otherwise.  That helps us run the school district.  We're just running the school district on significantly less than we were," said Randy Oppenheimer who works with media and community relations for Lakota Local School District.

Lakota schools have seen $11 million in funding cuts from 2010-2012.  However, they've seen more than $774,000 in these tax dollars this year for a school system of 16,000 students.  It costs them around $500,000 to operate the district for one full day.

"The benefit is that we don't have to sit there and find another $700,000 to cut," added Oppenheimer.

The schools in Madeira have seen much less in tax revenue, and it's because they're a lot smaller.  The district of 1,400 is also experiencing funding cuts, but they have seen around $65,000 in this tax money, which has also gone straight to their general fund.

"It's not going to delay a levy request, or the amount that we would be asking for.  But, it does help," Kramer told FOX19.

There have been two disbursements of this tax money to schools this year totaling more than $83 million.  To see how much money your school has received, click these links:

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