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Smart Voter
Hamilton County, OH November 3, 2009 Election
Issue 5
Proposed Tax Levy (Renewal and Increase)
County of Hamilton

Majority Approval Required

Pass: 166,362 / 67.71% Yes votes ...... 79,325 / 32.29% No votes

See Also: Index of all Issues

Information shown below: Summary |

A renewal of 3.62 mills and an increase of 0.51 mill to constitute a tax for the benefit of Hamilton County, Ohio, for the purpose of PROVIDING FUNDS FOR COMMUNITY MENTAL RETARDATION AND DEVELOPMENTAL DISABILITIES PROGRAMS, INCLUDING THE OPERATION AND MAINTENANCE OF SCHOOLS, WORKSHOPS, CLINICS, RESIDENTIAL FACILITIES AND SUCH OTHER SERVICES AS PROVIDED IN CHAPTER 5126, OHIO REVISED CODE at a rate not exceeding four and thirteen-hundredths (4.13) mills for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to forty-one and three-tenths cents ($0.413) for each one hundred dollars of valuation, for five (5) years, commencing in 2009, first due in calendar year 2010.

Summary Prepared by League of Women Voters:
Explanation: This levy proposes a tax of 4.13 mills on residential and commercial property in Hamilton County to provide funds for services to mentally retarded and developmentally disabled persons and their families. Of this millage, 3.62 mills is a replacement levy and 0.51 mills is an increase. It will raise the property tax for the owner of a $100,000 home to approximately $104.46 per year, an increase of $15.00 over the 2009 amount. The levy will produce $388.3 million over a five-year term beginning in fiscal 2010. More than 73% of the agency's funding is currently generated by the existing levy. The remaining revenue comes from federal and state sources. At the request of the Hamilton County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities (MR/DD), the Board of County Commissioners placed this levy on the ballot after a review by the Tax Levy Review Committee.

What the levy will do: Levy monies are used by the MR/DD Board to fund programs, some of which are mandated and regulated by State Law. The MR/DD Board determines the scope and planning of service delivery. Together, the programs serve almost 8,000 children and adults including, 530 residential clients. Programs cover three major areas: Children's Services from infancy through school age children up to age 22; Adult Services for individuals 16 years of age and older and Residential Services for individuals of all ages. In addition to managing and providing its own direct programs and services, MR/DD contracts with more than 300 Community Agencies. This represents 57 percent of the budget. Programs directly run by the Board include 2 special schools, 4 satellite classrooms and 4 adult centers, which provide work training and paid work experiences.

Background: In 1967, an Ohio State Law was passed which mandated establishment of County Boards of Mental Retardation. Currently, property owners of a $100,000 market value home pay $89.32 per year on the levy passed in 2004. The Hamilton County Board of Mental Retardation and Developmental Disabilities, which has the responsibility for carrying out the services, is made up of seven Hamilton County residents, five appointed by the Board of County Commissioners and two by the Probate Court Judge. A Board appointed superintendent heads a staff of 550 full time (equivalent) employees.

At the end of the proposed five-year levy, the Board estimates there will be an additional 3,000 service recipients due to increased autism rates, longer life span of the MR/DD population, and improved medical technologies. The Board conducts an outreach program to promote community awareness of the services available to developmentally disabled residents.

Tax Levy Review Committee (TLRC) Recommendations: The TLRC recommended a 5-year levy of $400.2 million and $11.6 million from the current levy carryover to meet program needs. An $8.7 million loss of State Subsidies would be offset by these funds.

The TLRC agreed with the consultant that MR/DD is a well-functioning organization, one of the few programs in the State to receive re-certification for a full five years. Principal recommendations of the consultant suggested that MR/DD:

  • should aggressively pursue Medicaid waivers as a means of providing a broader range of services to its participants;
  • needs to increase service facilitator staff in order to meet growing service demands while keeping average case loads stable;
  • should continue to pursue a Council of Governments with neighboring counties to provide for improved service support and to achieve greater financial efficiencies in administrative areas and
  • should continue to foster and use early retirement incentives.

  Official Information

County Auditor

  • What will this levy cost me? - Information from the Auditor is available for this proposed tax levy. Go to the website, then to "Property Search." Input your address and then click on "Levy Info" on the left side of the page.
Nonpartisan Information

League of Women Voters

News and Analysis

Google News Search

Videos General Links

People for MR/DD Services, Inc
Website in support of Issue 5
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Created: December 29, 2009 12:11 PST
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