News briefs: Ohio changes rules about liquor sales, consumption; Ohio’s state tax receipts take a big hit

Liquor commission allows off-premise consumption

By Todd DeFeo | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – Establishments with on-premises liquor permits can sell and deliver alcohol for off-premises consumption under a rule the Ohio Liquor Control Commission passed.

Breweries can also sell others’ beer and wine without a food purchase. However, a food purchase is required for the sale of high-proof liquor.

Under the rule, patrons can buy up to two drinks per meal. Beverages must remain closed during transport, and any drink may not contain more than two ounces of liquor per container.

The rule will remain in effect for up to 120 days unless the Liquor Control Commission rescinds it.

COVID-19 hits Ohio’s March tax receipts

By Todd DeFeo | The Center Square

(The Center Square) – Ohio’s tax revenue in March came in $159.4 million below the monthly estimate, an indication of the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the state’s economy, according to preliminary estimates from the Office of Budget and Management.

General Revenue Fund tax receipts were 10.5 percent below the original estimate.

Despite the shortage in March, the total fiscal-year-to-date tax receipts exceed the estimate by $89.5 million, or 0.5 percent. They are $362 million, or 2.2 percent, above total tax receipts during the same period last year.

“The impact of the COVID-19 global pandemic became apparent in Ohio’s March General Revenue Fund receipts,” OBM Director Kimberly Murnieks said in a statement.

While sales and use tax revenues for March were 8.3 percent below estimates, year-to-date sales tax receipts exceed estimates by $77.4 million, or 1 percent.

Additionally, income tax revenues for March were $22.3 million, or 5.1 percent, below estimates. OBM officials anticipate April’s income tax revenues will miss previous estimates because of the decision to move the income tax filing deadline to July 15.