Hamilton County voters approve senior services levy renewal, increase

CINCINNATI -- Hamilton County voters renewed and increased a property tax levy to pay for senior services and facilities Tuesday.

With all 559 districts reporting, Issue 5 had 124,513 votes for the levy and 48,366 votes against, 72.02 percent to 27.98 percent.

The five-year levy, at a rate of 1.6 mills, is expected to bring in $25.6 million per year, costing $40.25 for the owner of a home valued at $100,000. 

The increase amounts to about $10.85 per year for the owner of a $100,000 house. Council On Aging officials have said the increase was needed because the levy generates $2 million less today than it did in 2008. 

Money collected from the levy helps keep more than 5,700 seniors independent in their homes via the Council On Aging's Hamilton County Elderly Services Program, which provides services like home care, emergency response systems, delivered meals and transportation, according to the League of Women Voters. 

Funds also go to Hamilton County Jobs and Family Services to investigate cases of abuse, neglect or exploitation of people over age 60 and to Hamilton County Veterans Services.

The increase will also allow funds from the levy to establish a homeless respite care program geared toward seniors. Initial plans calling for the levy to use new funds for a health university initiative and a visiting nurses program have since been nixed. 

Issues 3 and 4

Hamilton County voters also renewed tax levies for alcohol, drug addiction and mental health services and for health and hospitalization services. 

Issue 3, the addiction and mental health services levy, passed with 124,957 votes for and 47,567 votes against. The 2.99 mills levy will generate an estimated $34.8 million each year through 2022 to help fund Hamilton County's Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services District, which is estimated to have served more than 23,000 people in 2015. 

Issue 4, the health and hospitalization services levy, passed with 121,196 votes for and 50,273 votes against. The 4.07 mills levy will bring in an estimated $38 million each year for five years. Funds from the levy helo low-income residents receive health services.

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