Common Questions on Library Funding
1. How are public libraries funded by the state of Ohio?
Currently, public libraries receive funding from the state through the Public Library Fund (PLF). Each month, the PLF receives 1.7% of the state’s total tax revenue received during the previous month in the General Revenue Fund (GRF). State tax revenue that goes into the GRF comes from multiple sources, including the state personal income tax, sales and use tax, business taxes, etc. Therefore, state funding for public libraries ebbs and flows with state revenues. The percentage of funding dedicated to public libraries will be automatically reduced to 1.66% on July 1, 2017.
2. Do all of Ohio’s public libraries have a local property tax levy?
No, 58 public libraries do not have a local property tax levy and rely solely on state funding through the PLF as their primary source of funding for day-to-day operations and providing services to their communities.
3. Do public libraries receive local county sales tax revenue, local city income tax revenue or Casino revenue?
No, public libraries do not have taxing authority to implement a local sales tax or income tax. Also, unlike counties, cities and school districts, public libraries do not receive Casino revenue from Ohio’s four casinos.
4. How much funding for public libraries comes from the state?
Collectively, 49% of the total funding (state and local) for Ohio’s public libraries comes from the state through the Public Library Fund.
5. What is the Return on Investment (ROI) to taxpayers for utilizing Ohio’s public libraries?
Ohio’s public libraries provided nearly $2.7 billion in direct economic benefit to Ohio residents in 2014. In addition, for every $1 spent by public libraries, a total economic value of $5.48 was returned to Ohioans.*
* The Return on Investment of Ohio’s Public Libraries & A Comparison With Other States, prepared by Howard Fleeter & Associates for the Ohio Library Council, April 2016.