Beginning in 1933, public libraries in Ohio were supported almost entirely from intangible personal property tax revenue.
In 1983, the Ohio General Assembly repealed the intangible tax based on recommendations from a bipartisan study of the state's entire tax system.
The Public Library Financing and Support Committee determined that the loss libraries experienced through the repeal of the intangible personal property tax was equal to 6.3 percent of Ohio's personal income tax revenue. Therefore, 6.3 percent of Ohio's personal income tax receipts were earmarked for the Library and Local Government Support Fund (LLGSF).
In 1991-1992, the LLGSF was frozen and $31.6 million in expected library revenue was lost.
In 1993, the Ohio General Assembly reduced the LLGSF from 6.3 percent to 5.7 percent of Ohio's personal income tax revenue.
From 1993 through December 2001, the LLGSF grew with the state economy and went from $284,700,000 to $496,458,342 in annual distributions.
In 2001, as the national economy began to decline, the state's fiscal year biennium budget called for the LLGSF to be frozen at July 2000-June 2001 distribution levels.
Library funding was reduced by an additional $10 million in 2003.
In the 2004-2005 biennium budget, library funding remained frozen at 2002 distribution levels.
Library funding was frozen as it had been since 2004 in the 2006-2007 budget.
2008 brought a new funding model as public libraries were slated to receive 2.22 percent of the state's total tax revenue, and the LLGSF was renamed the Public Library Fund (PLF).
In 2009, the funding formula for the Public Library Fund was temporarily reduced to 1.97 percent of the general tax revenue (as opposed to the original 2.22 percent).
As of December 2010, public libraries received 23 percent less in state funding than they did in 2008.
Worthington Libraries funding
Worthington Libraries receives the majority of its funding (70 percent) from two local property tax levies.
The first levy for the Library was a 22-year 2.2-mill levy passed in 1992. This levy was set to expire in 2014, but voters in the Worthington School District voted to permanently replace it on November 5, 2013.
The library's other levy is collected at a permanent 2.6-mills and was passed in 2005.
Stable funding at the local level has enabled Worthington Libraries to meet community demand for information, services and programs.
Cuts to state funding have been significant, however. The loss for Worthington Libraries' state funding in 2009 and 2010, when compared to the previous biennium, was $1.1 million.