Ohio Auditor of State Keith Faber is starting an ODOT Performance Audit to look into the new gas tax in Ohio recently imposed by the Ohio State Legislature.
According to Faber on his visit to Portsmouth Tuesday afternoon, his office will have six months mandated by the state legislature to perform the audit to see if the new tax is generating revenue as was laid out by the state legislature. Faber said the legislature was very clear on his office focusing on the “big stuff” and not going for the “low hanging fruit” in the audit. Faber noted his office generally takes up to 18 months to perform such an audit, but said this one will be much quicker.
Faber said the new tax is proposed to bring local governments up to $2 billion for the two year budget cycle for road improvements.
The state auditordoes not audit individuals, nor does it collect taxes, rather they are in charge of overseeing how the tax dollars are being spent and if they are being wrongfully spent. During his visit to the Daily Times office, Faber praised state and local officials with how the State of Ohio’s tax dollars are currently being spent. Fabr said his office performs 4,500 audits per year.
Most improper spending procedures that get audited by Faber’s office come from tips on the Auditor’s Hotline 1-866-Fraud-OH (866-372-8364). “We audit the people who spend your tax dollars,” Faber said. “We’re the watchdog for Bob and Betty Buckeye.”
Faber’s office is also heavily involved with the case in Pike County involving Sheriff Charles Reader who is under indictment and facing felony charges of allegedly taking confiscated money from drug trafficking transactions for his personal use. Faber was not at liberty to speak about the details of this case during his visit due to the gag order the judge issued in the Reader case.
For college students or recent graduates who would like to seek employment or internship at the Auditor’s office, Faber said they can go on the Auditor of State’s website and apply for a position at the state level in Columbus or at local branch offices in South Point and Athens.
Faber said his next stop Tuesday was a round table discussion with local school treasurers at the Scioto County Career and Technical Center in Lucasville.