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Franklin County Developmental Disabilities levy wins easily

By Kimball Perry, Columbus Dispatch
Published Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Early returns so impressed the head of the Franklin County Board of Developmental Disabilities that he declared victory on a levy renewal request an hour after Tuesday’s polls closed.

“This is the best that we’ve done in 50 years,” Jed Morison, superintendent and board CEO said at 8:30 p.m.

With only absentee votes in, the Development Disabilities levy was winning 84-16 percent. The final total was 81 percent to 19 percent.

“We are very, very pleased,” Morison added. “Seventy-one percent was the highest we’d ever done.”

The large win means Franklin County property owners will continue to provide the bulk of the board’s $240 million annual budget.

“I think voters pay close attention to what’s going on and know the values of the services that are being provided,” Morison said. “I get the feeling we’re doing some things right.”

The board provides services to 21,000 people, from infants to adults to seniors. While some of those services are for a few hours a day, some are provided all day from birth to death. Services include schooling, transportation, placing adults in housing and work programs and providing for seniors.

The key to the large win may have been that the levy sought the same amount of money the agency now receives.

Of the board’s $240 million in revenue in 2016, the two property taxes it receives provided $184.8 million, 77 percent of its revenue. The rest came from state and federal funds.

One of the levies, adopted in 2009, is continuous and raises $94.2 million annually. It costs the owner of a $100,000 house $106.89 annually.

The levy voters agreed Tuesday to renew for 10 years also raises $92.4 million per year and costs the owner of a $100,000 house $106.89 per year. It would have expired at the end of 2018, but the board wanted early approval just in case.

Combined, the two property taxes raise $184.8 million per year for the board and cost the owner of a $100,000 house $213.78 per year.

This article has been reproduced for educational purposes only and appeared in the Columbus Dispatch. The original story can be found at:

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