Public Library Fund
As of January 2008, Ohio’s public libraries are funded through 2.22% of the state’s total general tax revenue. The new funding source broadens the base of library funding to all General Revenue tax revenues, not just personal income tax. In addition, S.B. 185 changed the name of the Library and Local Government Support Fund to the Public Library Fund effective June 20, 2008. The name change more clearly identifies the purpose of these funds.
Until 2007, the Public Library Fund (PLF) was called the Library and Local Government Support Fund (LLGSF). This fund was created by the state legislature to replace the intangibles tax, which supported libraries from 1931 until December 31, 1985. The original legislation for the fund provided that the state distribute 6.3% of the state’s personal income tax collections to each county on a monthly basis for the support of public libraries. In 1995, the funding level was amended by the legislature to 5.7% of the state’s personal income tax collections.
The majority of Ohio’s 251 public library systems rely predominately on funds from the PLF to operate their libraries.
The distribution of the PLF from the state to each county is based upon a formula devised by the Public Library Financing and Support Committee during the change from intangibles to state income tax. The distribution formula provides for a guaranteed share, based upon the county’s percent share of the 1985 intangibles taxes plus Consumer Price Index, and for a share of the excess. Using an equalization ratio, which is based upon each county’s share of the statewide population, the amount of income tax over the guaranteed share is distributed to each county. Both shares are calculated by the Ohio Department of Taxation, and the resulting amount is sent by the 10th of each month to the county treasurer. The county treasurer must distribute all funds by the 15th day of each month.