January 2014

About Us · Library Funding

How is the Library Funded?

In 2013, the Public Library Fund (PLF) provided 63.3% of all revenue received by our library. The Hamilton County 1 mill property tax levy provided 31.2%.

The PLF is divided among the 88 counties in Ohio and is funded through the State General Revenue Fund. The 2014-15 biennium budget eliminated the fixed monthly distribution which was provided for in the previous budget and returned to the percentage of revenue funding approach that had been in place prior to August of 2011. The current budget decreased the percentage from 1.97% to 1.66%. As a result, we are expecting a slight decrease of 2.6% in 2014 PLF revenue as compared to 2013. We are hopeful that originally reported biennium budget increases will be seen in 2015.

In November of 2013, the voters of Hamilton County approved a 10-year renewal tax levy which will provide funding through 2024. The levy was strongly supported with an almost 81% FOR vote. The projected levy revenue for 2014 is $17.5 million, a slight decrease of 2.2% from 2013 actual revenue.

2013 Revenue:

Public Library Fund, State of Ohio 63.3%
County Tax Levy 31.2%
Fines & Fees 2.6%
Contributions & Gifts 1.2%
E-rate Telecommunication Discounts 0.9%
Miscellaneous Income** 0.5%
Earnings on Investments 0.3%

**Restricted grants, Passport fees, supply sales, property rentals/sales, refunds, digital services.

What are the Library’s expenditures?

2013 Expenses:

Salaries & Benefits 62.3%
Library Materials 15.6%
Purchased & Contracted Services 15.2%
Capital Improvements 2.7%
Supplies 2.4%
Furniture & Equipment 1.8%

The Library continues to maintain tight control over expenses and, over the past 4 years, has held expenses to less than annual revenue, even as those revenues have decreased. This has generated a savings that will be used to supplement decreasing revenue in 2014 and partially fund the first major building project in over a decade.

Outlook for 2014

In 2013, the Library Board of Trustees approved a major construction project which includes accessibility renovations at the 100 year old Avondale Branch, construction of new branches in St. Bernard and Reading, and the renovation of a historic building creating a branch in Clifton. The bulk of these projects will be done in 2014 and completion of all projects in 2015.

During the last year, we experienced record circulation statistics while holding expenses in line with spending over the previous seven years. Although there has been some slight improvement in the economic conditions, our funding is expected to decrease. The focus in 2014 is to work towards completion of the construction projects and continue to provide excellent library services to all residents of Hamilton County within the resources available.

Financial Reporting and Audits

The Library's excellence in financial reporting was once again recognized through receipt of both the Auditor of State Award of Distinction and also a Certificate of Achievement from the Government Finance Officers Association for its 2012 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). Copies of the Library's annual state audits from 1999 to the present may be accessed from the Ohio Auditor of State's website.