Hamilton Co. extends library tax levy for 10 years

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Hamilton County voters approved an extended version of the Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County's property tax levy.

On November 1, The Public Library of Cincinnati and Hamilton County was given a prestigious Five Star Service Award from the Library Journal, being one of only five libraries nationwide to receive the award. Right on the heels on this honor, Hamilton County voters went to the polls this election day to determine the fate of the library's funding for the next 10 years.

The levy, which was endorsed by Cincinnati's Chamber of Commerce, is different from the library's past levies in that it is a request for a 10 year levy, 5 years longer than a typical appeal to voters. The library says that a 10 year levy allows for more long term planning and maintains that it will not increase voter's taxes.

The levy will cost taxpayers $2.51 per month per $100,000 of property value. According to the library, this funding is necessary to provide an adequate amount of operating expenses and capital improvements through 2024. In addition, levy funding will provide one-third of the library's total budget. The other majority two-thirds of funding come from the state's public library fund, which is set to increase 3% in 2014.

Cincinnati and Hamilton County Public Library had over 7.4 million visitors in 2012, and the main library branch is the busiest central library in the US for the second year in a row, according to Public Library Data Service.

The levy passed with 73% of the vote when it was last on the ballot in 2009.

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