State officials report Ohio has suspended around 700 businesses since 2013 because owners didn't pay sales tax.

The Hamilton-Middletown Journal-News reports the state spends about $700,000 annually for investigators to track down and sometimes close those businesses that don't pay.

There are currently 1,800 businesses with a recent history of late sales tax payments in Ohio's Habitual Offenders Program. Most of those businesses collect at least $25,000 per year in sales tax. Businesses can be suspended if they fail to pay sales tax for at least two consecutive months.

The newspaper reports that about 75 percent of businesses pay their outstanding sales tax bills the first day the state suspends their operations.

Officials say the program is meant to put struggling businesses back on track to pay their bills.

--Associated Press