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Ohio posts surplus for first half of two-year budget

The state ended the first half of the two-year budget in the black – in a big way. State budget director Tim Keen says the fiscal year ended with an $800 million surplus:

"We were able to close the year with tax receipts coming in modestly above estimate, about one percent above estimate; and spending, led by Medicaid spending, below the appropriated levels."

Keen says the money has been set aside to cover spending in the recently-signed budget update – which includes an acceleration of the personal income tax cut in last year’s budget and an increase in the tax cut for small businesses. The budget update also allows for $76 million in tax credits for lower-income taxpayers.

Democrats have said budget surpluses should go to offset cuts in local government and school spending.