|Investment Earnings Way Off Estimates|
But the investment earnings report was decidedly dismal. It is not clear who prepared the projections that are based upon the performance of the state treasurer's office. Democrat Kevin Boyce -- the current treasurer -- was defeated Nov. 5 and leaves office in January. Republican Josh Mandel takes over. Mandel has his work cut out. He has to prove that he can do any better investing state funds, and he has to prove he can forecast earnings accurately. Tall orders. The investment earnings aren't the biggest revenue producer for the state -- but they are supposed to bring in more than liquor sales ($7.8 million) and utility taxes ($16.3 million). How bad are the investment earnings? In October 2009, the state made $11.54 million. That was 72% ($8.4 million) better than last month.
Comparative data for investment earnings from other states is hard to track down -- not everybody is as transparent as Ohio, nor do they keep records in the same fashion. Neighboring Indiana reports interest income and it earned $200,000 --down 78.8% from a year earlier. Its state budget agency report did not show any estimates for Indiana (or at least The Daily Bellwether could not locate them). In Ohio, there are certainly questions to ask about the investment earnings estimates and how they were derived, where they came from, who made the overly sunny forecast? Did somebody get paid, an outside consultant, to predict that Ohio would earn $20,500,000 on its investments? Maybe the state needs to get a refund . . .