Election Analysis: Ohio Townships Seek Ballot Support for Funding

Newsroom ,

COLUMBUS, OH – The Ohio Township Association is pleased to produce its brief analysis of the 2019 general election, which saw 492 levies and bond issues on the ballot for Ohio’s townships. The results of the multiple types of levies possible, such as additional, renewal and replacement, showed an interest from township residents in supporting their local governments, but also demonstrated a lack of full funding for roads and safety services.  

“Local property taxes are an important revenue source for townships. However, townships only levy about 7 percent of the local government property taxes in Ohio,” said Matt DeTemple, OTA Executive Director. “The fact that almost 95 percent of the township issues passed on Tuesday is a vote of confidence for townships.”

With a total of 492 levies and bond issues for townships on the ballot, the most common levies were for safety services. Over 250 fire, police or EMS (or a combination thereof) levies were posed to township residents during this general election. However, these issues also saw the most failures.   

A total of 25 levies or bond issues failed: 18 additional levies (for roads, parks, safety services, cemeteries and general funds), two replacement levies (for roads and safety services) and three renewal levies (for roads and safety services), with two bond issues failing (parks and safety services). 

Of the levies that passed:
•    57 were for additional levies, equal to a 76 percent passage rate
•    81 were replacement levies, or replacements with an increase, equal to a passage rate of 97.6 percent
•    327 were renewals or renewals with an increase, equal to a passage rate of 99 percent

Townships in Ohio vary widely in population size, but overall, serve 35 percent of the state’s residents. With townships unable to collect income tax, township governments across the state rely on local property taxes and levies to serve their residents. This renders general elections crucial to gauging residents’ support of township officials and services.