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Issues 1, 3 and 29: What passed; what didn't

Tana Weingartner
Issue 29 is a levy estimated to cost about $33.25 a year per $100,000 of home value. An existing levy runs through 2026 and costs homeowners about $30 per $100,000 of home value.

On the November 2021 ballot, voters in Hamilton County and Cincinnati decided the outcomes of two proposed tax levies and one charter amendment. Here are their results:

Issue 1 - Children's Services

Issue 1 passed Tuesday with 58% of the vote.

The children's services tax levy is an existing levy that funds federal and state-mandated services like investigating allegations of abuse and neglect.

The levy was first passed in the 1980s and remained at the same level for decades. Voters approved a supplemental increase in 2018. Issue 1 is a combination of the original levy and the 2018 supplement.

Although the ballot indicated the levy is a renewal and increase, the levy is actually the same level as it has been since 2018. Homeowners will pay slightly less in taxes while the county continues to bring in about $80 million a year for children's services.

Issue 3 - Amendment to Cincinnati's city charter

Issue 3 failed with 57% voting "no" on the proposed charter amendment.

State Representative Tom Brinkman (and candidate for City Council, finishing 17th out of 35) authored the charter amendment known as Issue 3 and circulated petitions to get it on the November ballot. Among other initiatives, he wanted voters to approve lowering council salaries to the median household income in the city.

The Hamilton County Republican Party supported the effort. Democrats and the Charter Committee came out against it, with Charter President Darrick Dansby saying, "it was put together without any input from the community, without any public discussion of the issues. It's a very dangerous thing to have that many amendments in one ballot issue."

Issue 29 - Great Parks of Hamilton County levy

Issue 29 passed with 53% of residents voting yes.

Voters were asked to consider an additional levy request from the county park system. Great Parks requested 10-year, .95 mill levy, in addition to an existing levy running through 2026 that costs about $30 per $100,000 of home value.

The park system says the additional funds are needed to continue operating at current levels as well as expanding services, making infrastructure improvements, and maintaining existing facilities and amenities. A large chunk of the additional revenue would be used for things like roads, parking areas, building maintenance and improvements, bridges, dams and utilities.

Tangibly, some of the biggest projects people would see affect the harbor areas at Winton Woods, Sharon Woods and Miami Whitewater Forest, which Great Parks says are the district's most visited amenities at its three busiest parks.

New trails and trail systems - identified as a top priority in the recently completed master planning process - also top the list. Miles of new trails are planned along with additional programming.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.
Jennifer Merritt brings 20 years of "tra-digital" journalism experience to WVXU.
Senior Editor and reporter at WVXU with more than 20 years experience in public radio; formerly news and public affairs producer with WMUB. Would really like to meet your dog.