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Library Funding





How is the Library Funded?

In January 2008, the Public Library Fund (PLF) replaced the Library and Local Government Support Fund, which had funded Ohio's public libraries since 1986. In establishing the PLF, the state broadened the base of library funding to include all general revenue taxes and fixed the percentage for libraries at 2.2 percent of collections. By mid-2009, the percentage was reduced to 1.97 percent. The 2012-13 biennium budget set library funding at 95% of prior year distributions, less new deductions that fund the Ohio Public Library Information Network (OPLIN) and the Library for the Blind and Physically Handicapped. The 2014-15 biennium budget eliminated the fixed monthly distribution and returned to the percentage of revenue funding approach where the PLF percentage was reset to 1.66% of the GRF. As a result of a statewide campaign in 2014 to educate legislators and members of the media on state funding for Ohio’s public libraries, the Ohio General Assembly temporarily increased the PLF from 1.66% to 1.7% for the 2016-17 biennium budget. The current (2018-19) biennium budget decreased the percentage from 1.7 percent to 1.68 percent. In 2018, the PLF provided 65% of all revenue received by our Library.

In November 2013, Hamilton County voters overwhelmingly renewed a 1-mill operating levy for ten years for the Library. Over the last several years, the levy revenue has offset the loss of state revenue. In May 2018, Hamilton County voters approved an additional 1-mill operating levy for 10 years first due in 2019. The additional levy money will allow for continued growth and capital projects to be completed in a timely manner. Throughout 2018 and into 2019, focus is on planning and gathering community input related to the development of a Facilities Master Plan and the accessibility and renovation projects at the Price Hill Branch, Walnut Hills Branch, and the Madisonville Branch. It is anticipated that the Facilities Master Plan will be completed in January 2020. Once the plan is adopted and prioritized, work will take place in phases over the next decade.

2019 Revenue

Public Library Fund, State of Ohio 41,504,542
Property Taxes 38,336,676
Patron Fines and Fees 879,453
Earnings on Investments 750,628
Contributions 117,028
Miscellaneous Revenue** 944,569

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

What are the Library’s expenditures?

2019 Disbursements

Salaries 29,319,207
Benefits 8,576,567
Supplies 2,051,561
Purchased Services 9,982,662
Library Materials and Information 9,577,897
Capital Improvements 961,068
Other Objects 643,834
Transfers Out 21,000,000

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 2017 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR). Copies of the Library’s annual financial reports from 1999 to present may be accessed from the Ohio Auditor of State’s website.

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