Election results: Two counties add brand-new children services levies
Hocking and Jackson county voters passed their first-ever children services levies in yesterday’s election, bringing the total number of Ohio counties with dedicated property taxes for child protection to 51.
Of the 17 counties with children services levies on the ballot, 14 passed, with Marion County’s levy likely passing but still too close to call. (Note: This post will be updated as new information becomes available.)
Not counting Marion’s, eight of the passing levies were new, replacement or increase levies. The near-record number of children services levies on the ballot was directly attributable to the rising cost of foster care placement. The number of children in custody has been increasing dramatically due to the opioid epidemic, and county agencies are unable to afford the cost of placing them in foster care. Elimination of funds from the Tangible Personal Property Tax was also cited as a reason for needing to generate more local revenue.
Ohio relies more on local (county) funds to pay for the cost of child protection and foster care than any other state in the nation. Despite increased investments in the current biennial budget, the state is conversely last in the nation for the state share of costs for child protection.
PCSAO is grateful to all of the voters who supported local levies to protect children, and congratulates all of the successful counties.