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The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus

News

League of Women Voters supports Children Services levy

Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE -- CONTACT:
Scott Britton, (614) 364-0541

The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus last night endorsed Issue 4, the Franklin County Children Services levy, on the Nov. 3 general election ballot.

The League examined the issue thoroughly before deciding to support its passage. “The League of Women Voters has a longstanding public policy position supporting services for abused and neglected children,” said Scott Britton, the League’s vice president for advocacy. “We recognized that the agency’s revenue from state government is shrinking fast, and that the property tax is one of the only options available to ensure adequate funding for these critical services.”

Britton said that it is important for voters to understand that even though the levy is referred to as a “replacement-with-reduction” levy, it will actually cost homeowners more. Currently, the owner of a $100,000 market value home in Franklin County pays $116.99 a year in property taxes to support Children Services. Passage of a 3.10 mill replacement-with-reduction levy will increase this tax by $28.48 a year to $145.47 beginning in 2010.

“Children Services is unique among the agencies supported by property tax levies in Franklin County in that it earns revenue from two different levies, one that expires at the end of each decade and one that expires in the middle,” Britton said. “While two levies staggered over 10 years helps the agency with budget planning, it requires the agency to be especially responsive to voters. The League has made a commitment to monitor the agency and its expenditures over the next five years leading up to the 2014 replacement levy.”

The League of Women Voters is a nonpartisan organization. While the League  never endorses candidates or political parties, the almost 90-year-old organization does study issues and takes positions on them after looking closely at all aspects. In recent elections, the League has endorsed the Columbus school levy/bond, the Metro Parks levy, and the Columbus income tax, all of which passed with strong support from voters. The League took no position on other local ballot issues. (Last month, the League of Women Voters of Ohio took positions on the three statewide ballot issues.)

The League of Women Voters of Metropolitan Columbus encourages informed and active participation in government, works to increase understanding of major public policy issues, and influences public policy through education and advocacy. The League is where hands-on work to safeguard democracy leads to civic improvement.