This is an archive of a past election.
See for current information.
LWV League of Women Voters of the Cincinnati Area Education Fund If you appreciate our service to voters, please consider helping us with a donation.
Smart Voter
Hamilton County, OH November 3, 2009 Election
Issue 7
Proposed Tax Levy (Additional)
Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County

Majority Approval Required

Pass: 180,467 / 72.94% Yes votes ...... 66,956 / 27.06% No votes

See Also: Index of all Issues

Information shown below: Summary |

An additional tax for the benefit of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, County of Hamilton, Ohio, for the purpose of PROVIDING OPERATING EXPENSES AND CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS at a rate not exceeding one (1) mill for each one dollar of valuation, which amounts to ten cents ($0.10) 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 new levy proposes a tax of 1 mill on residential and commercial property in Hamilton County for a five year term. The purpose of the levy is to provide funding for the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, including staffing, operating costs, and facilities maintenance. The levy would produce $100.2 million over five years beginning in fiscal year 2010 or approximately $20.2 million per year. The cost of the levy for the owner of a $100,000 property would be approximately $30 a year. Under Ohio law, the Hamilton County Commissioners were required to place this issue on the ballot after the governing board of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County voted to place this five-year levy before voters November 2009.

What the levy will do: If the levy passes, the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County will use the levy funds to help fund basic operating expenses and maintenance of Library facilities and to replace some of the lost state revenues.

Background: The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County, organized in 1853, was the nation's first metropolitan, county-wide library. It is governed by a 7-member Board of Trustees appointed by the Board of County Commissioners and the Common Pleas judges. The Library Board is responsible for all budgetary and operational decisions, overseeing establishment of all library branches and disposing of special funds such as endowments and grants. The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County consists of the Main Library in downtown Cincinnati and 40 branch libraries.

The Library's primary source of funding is state taxes, making up about 90% of its annual budget. Other sources of revenue to the Library include contributions, fines & fees, restricted grants, and investment return from endowments.

Currently the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County does not receive any local tax support. It is the only metropolitan library in Ohio without a local source of funding.

Ohio public libraries are funded by the Public Library Fund (PLF) which receives 2.22% of the State's General Revenue Fund tax collections. This amount of money has been gradually decreasing over the past few years due to the financial crisis and lower state tax revenue receipts. The 2010-2011 state budget bill reduces Ohio's Public Library Fund (PLF) from 2.22% to 1.97% of the tax collections included in the State's General Revenue Fund.

State support for the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County has declined from $53.1 million in 2000 to an estimated $38.4 million in 2009, a 25% reduction in state funding. In response, the Library has reduced hours of operation, staff, and budget. In addition capital projects have been canceled and renovations have been postponed.

Tax Levy Review Committee (TLRC) Comments: At the request of the Board of County Commissioners, the TLRC conducted an informal review of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County's request for a 1 mill levy on the November 2009 ballot. Because of time constraints, the review waived the usual process for analyzing the levy request and served only as on opportunity for the residents of Hamilton County to understand why the Library requested a levy, their financial history and plan and what levy dollars would support. An outside consultant was not obtained by the Library or the County to provide a detailed analysis of the Library's operating structure or capital needs. The TLRC recommends the Library hire a consultant to review their operations and develop a 5-year plan.

  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

Vote for Our Library
Website in support of Issue 7
This election is archived. Any links to sources outside of Smart Voter may no longer be active. No further links will be added to this page.
Links to sources outside of Smart Voter are provided for information only and do not imply endorsement.

Hamilton Home Page || About Smart Voter || Feedback
Created: December 29, 2009 12:11 PST
Smart Voter <>
Copyright © League of Women Voters of California Education Fund
The League of Women Voters neither supports nor opposes candidates for public office or political parties.