Issue 28 is the five-year renewal of Massillon Public Library’s current 2.9 mill, five-year renewal levy. This is the only operating levy that supports the Massillon Public Library.

The history of local levy funding for the library is:
2006 1.9 mill Operating Levy
2011 1.9 mill Replacement Levy
2015 1.9 mill Renewal plus 1 mill increase
2020 2.9 mill Renewal…NO NEW TAX

Taxes for the 2.9 mill, five-year Renewal levy would be collected January 2022 through December 2026. The levy will generate approximately $1,318,351 annually for its life.

People living in the School District of Massillon and the Villages of Brewster and Navarre may vote on this levy. Massillon City residents who live outside the school district boundaries will not vote on this levy.

The owner of a $100,000 home will pay $79.10 annually for the five-year levy. This is LESS than during the past five years.

The current operating levy provides 44% of the library’s operating budget, which in 2021 is anticipated to be $2,740,000, very close to 2017 levels.

The 2015 levy:
• Enabled the library to maintain hours and services. It also allowed for the library to restore most hours of operation per week that had been cut in 2009, including Sunday hours at Main, and to add Saturday hours at the Askren Branch for the first time.
• Expanded the Outreach department, which included the asbestos remediation of the bookmobile offices.
• Removed barriers to services, starting with the elimination of overdue fines for children and teens, and the addition of automatic renewals of materials for all patrons.
• Added new services such as Wi-Fi Hotspots that can be checked out, along with a circulating cake pan library.
• Increased programs for all ages.
• Expanded technology classes and added a Technology Trainer.
• Provided services library patrons expect, such as digital books, movies, and music that can be checked out with a library card.



1.68% of the state’s General Revenue Fund (GRF) is currently earmarked for the support of public libraries through the Public Library Fund (PLF), but that percentage decreases to 1.66% in July of 2021.

The State allocates PLF funds to each county based on a distribution formula established in the 1980s.

The PLF funds allocated to Stark County are then distributed by the Stark County Budget Commission according to a usage formula agreed upon by all 7 of the county’s library boards. The factors determining the division of state PLF funds in Stark County are: Circulation; Square Footage; Population plus Cardholders; Number of FTE (staff); Door Count plus Website Visits; Amount spent on materials and technology.

Of that PLF money distributed in Stark County, approximately 11% supports the Massillon Public Library. The rest supports the other six library systems in the county.

Because of cuts since 2009, Ohio’s public libraries are currently funded from state dollars at the same level as 1997. All told, the PLF has experienced a 26% decrease in the last twenty years.

The FY21 budget brings the worry of additional decreases to library funding due to the COVID-19 pandemic and its statewide impact on sales and income tax collections.

In 2004, only 73 of Ohio’s 251 public libraries had local operating levies. In 2020, 201 public libraries rely on local dollars through operating levies. The local dollars have made the difference in keeping libraries open.

Other small sources of revenue for the library include:
– Overdue fines and fees for lost materials (approximately $12,000 per year)
– Grants and Donations (an unpredictable revenue; some are earmarked for certain projects, like capital improvements)


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