As the November midterm election draws near, 48 county-wide Health and Human Service (HHS) levies will appear on the ballot in 38 Ohio counties. The HHS levies for this midterm election have a vast area of application, spanning over 10 areas of services including mental health and addiction recovery, senior services, public health, developmental disabilities, and children’s services. Out of the 38 counties with levies on the ballot, nine have multiple HHS levies: Fayette, Hocking, Knox, Mahoning, Mercer, Muskingum, Preble, Ross, and Tuscarawas, and Hamilton has three. Levies to benefit older adults are the most common type for this election, appearing on ballots in 12 of the 38 counties. A full listing is included in the table, below.
|County||Purpose||Levy Requested (in mills)||Period||Type||Result|
|Belmont||Senior Services||1.5||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Butler||Children's Services||2.0||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Delaware||Senior Services||1.3 renewal + 0.1 increase||5 years||Renewal + Increase||Pass|
|Fayette (A)||Developmental Disabilities||1.5||10 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Fayette (B)||Public Health||0.5||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Franklin||Senior Services||1.75||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Fulton||Public Health||0.5 renewal + 0.1 increase||10 years||Renewal + Increase||Pass|
|Geauga||Behavioral Health||0.5||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Greene||Behavioral Health||1.5||10 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Guernsey||Senior Services||0.5 replacement + 0.25 increase||5 years||Replacement + Increase||Pass|
|Hamilton (A)||Senior Services||1.6||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Hamilton (B)||Behavioral Health||2.99 renewal + 0.38 increase||5 years||Renewal + Increase||Pass|
|Hamilton (C)||Public Health||4.07||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Hardin||Senior Services||1.5||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Henry||Senior Services||1.0||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Hocking (A)||Senior Services||0.25||5 Years||Renewal||Pass|
|Hocking (B)||Children's Services||1.0||5 Years||Renewal||Pass|
|Huron||Developmental Disabilities||1.0||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Jackson||Senior Services||0.5||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Knox (A)||Public Health||1.0||5 years||Replacement + Increase||Pass|
|Knox (B)||Developmental Disabilities||0.25||Continuing||Renewal + Decrease||Pass|
|Lake||Senior Services||0.8||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Logan||Public Health||1.0||10 years||Additional||Fail|
|Lorain||Behavioral Health||0.6||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Madison||Developmental Disabilities||1.0||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Mahoning (A)||Children's Services||0.5||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Mahoning (B)||Public Health||0.1||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Medina||Public Health||0.7||10 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Meigs||Senior Services||1.6||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Mercer (A)||Public Health||0.55||5 years||Additional||Fail|
|Mercer (B)||Developmental Disabilities||2.42||6 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Morrow||Public Health||0.5||10 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Muskingum (A)||Behavioral Health||1.0||10 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Muskingum (B)||Public Health||1.0||10 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Portage||Public Health||0.4||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Preble (A)||Children's Services||0.4||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Preble (B)||Public Health||0.25||5 Years||Additional||Fail|
|Putnam||Public Health||0.5||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Ross (A)||Senior Services||0.5||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Ross (B)||Children's Services||1.0||5 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Scioto||Children's Services||1.0 Replacement + 2.0 Increase||10 years||Replacement + Increase||Pass|
|Seneca||Senior Services||0.3||5 years||Replacement||Pass|
|Trumbull||Developmental Disabilities||1.5||10 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Tuscarawas (A)||Developmental Disabilities||1.7||10 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Tuscarawas (B)||Public Health||1.0||10 years||Renewal||Pass|
|Wayne||Children's Services||1.6||10 years||Renewal||TBD|
|Williams||Senior Services||0.4||5 years||Renewal + Additional||Pass|
What is a renewal levy?
Levies are measured in mills, and this represents the amount that a homeowner would pay for a levy. Millage rates for levies are determined by tax paid per $1,000 of a property’s value. Renewal levies are overwhelmingly prominent this election, appearing in 32 total levels across counties. A renewal levy extends the term and function of a current levy while also considering property valuations. This is done by adjusting the millage to raise the same amount of funding as the original passage of the levy. In addition to renewal levies, there are two other less prominent levies that will appear on ballots this election-replacement and additional levies.
What is a replacement levy?
Replacement levies work to extend the terms and conditions of a levy. Replacement levies benefit from an increase in value, which will increase the tax if your property value has risen. In contrast, additional levies collect taxes that are in addition to a current standing levy. Three counties have replacement levies on the ballot: Guernsey, Knox, and Seneca County. Three counties with replacement levies are focused on senior services and one is for public health. There are also three counties with additional levies. Counties with additional levies are Logan, Mercer, and Preble County. All three additional levies in these counties fund health districts. Funding for health districts is expected, due to workforce challenges and financial strains exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
HHS levies are an important source of flexible, locally generated funding for services and supports that help our state’s most vulnerable residents.
HHS levies are an important source of flexible, locally generated funding for services and supports that help our state’s most vulnerable residents. It is important for Ohioans to know what levies appear on their ballots, because they impact the wellbeing of others within communities, cities, and counties that make up our state.
What Issues are on the Ballot?
In addition to HHS service funding and elected offices, Ohioans will vote for two statewide issues that will be on the November ballot:
Ohio Issue 1: Bail Bonds
Issue 1 is legislation that would require “Ohio courts to consider public safety and other factors when setting the amount of bail,” In the current rules of setting bail, the Supreme Court of Ohio is responsible for determining the types, amounts, and conditions of bail. As it stands, courts are responsible for considering the weight of evidence, the nature of the crime, and the defendant’s personal background. Concerns such as community threat or public safety are not under consideration when determining bail amount. The amendment proposed by Issue 1 would therefore require courts to consider public safety for determining bail amounts directly into the Ohio Constitution. Below are links to the arguments for and against Ohio Issue 1 contributed by the Ohio Secretary of State.
Ohio Secretary of State on Issue 1
Ohio Issue 2: Voting rights
Issue 2 would require that only a citizen of the U.S. who is at least 18 years of age, occupying status as a legal resident and voter (for at least 30 days), able to vote at any state or local election held in Ohio. Issue 2 would also prohibit local governments from allowing people to vote in local elections if they are not qualified to vote in state elections. Below are links to the arguments for and against Ohio Issue 2 contributed by the Ohio Secretary of State.
Ohio Secretary of State on Issue 2
Make sure to vote early or on Election Day November 8!
Be sure to stay up to date with local elections in your district and follow updates from Community Solutions. To check what will be on your ballot, be sure to refer to your county sample ballot from the Ohio Secretary of State, or refer to the County Board of Elections Directory. And make sure to vote early or on Election Day November 8!