Overview of May 2022 Ohio School Levies on the Ballot

This article provides a brief overview of school levies on the ballot in the May 3, 2022 primary election. A complete list of local issues on the May 2022 ballot in the primary election is included at the end of this article and can also be found on the Ohio Secretary of State’s website at: https://www.sos.state.oh.us/elections/voters/about-this-election/

Election results from prior years (which includes school levy data beginning in 2013) can be accessed from the Secretary of State website by selecting the year in question at: 

Table 1 provides a summary of the number and type of school levies on the ballot in Ohio’s primary election over the last 5 years. Table 1 shows that the number of levies on the primary has been roughly 20-25% lower the past 2 years than from 2018-2020.  2021 and 2022 of course reflect the years of the pandemic which may contribute to districts’ reluctance to ask voters for levy approval. 

Table 1: School Levies on the Primary Ballot 2018-2022, By Type

Levy TypeMay 2018May 2019March 2020May 2021May 2022
Capital Levies2329241422
Operating Levies6975755953
Total Levies92104997375

Table 2 provides a more detailed breakdown of capital levies (defined as bond levies, permanent improvement (PI) levies and combination bond/PI levies) on the ballot in Ohio’s primary election from 2018-2022.  Table 2 shows that while 2021 was slightly lower and 2019 was slightly higher, the number of capital levies has been fairly stable over the past 5 years, averaging 22.4 levies per year. The majority of capital levies are typically new levies as bond and combination levies are always “new” as they cannot be renewed.  Capital levies historically pass 60-65% of the time in Ohio.  

Table 2: Capital Levies on the Primary Ballot 2018-2022, By Type

Levy TypeMay 2018May 2019March 2020May 2021May 2022
Bond Levies65636
Combination Levies86932
Permanent Improvement Levies9189814
Total Capital Levies2329241422

Table 3 provides a more detailed breakdown of operating levies on the ballot from 2018-2022. The data in Table 3 show that over the past 5 years emergency levies typically account for roughly one half (or more) of school operating levies on the primary ballot in Ohio. Note that substitute levies, which allow districts to aggregate existing emergency levies, are counted as emergency levies. Among the other types of operating levies, property tax current expenses levies (83 on the ballot in the last 5 primary elections) and school district income tax (SDIT) levies (80 on the primary ballot over the last 5 years) are roughly evenly split. “Other” operating levies (defined as those for county financing districts, technology levies and school safety & security levies) have comprised only a very small share of operating levies on the ballot in recent primary elections. 

Table 3: Operating Levies on the Primary Ballot 2018-2022, By Type

Levy TypeMay 2018May 2019March 2020May 2021May 2022
Emergency Levies*4136392631
Property Tax Current Expense levies1114201612
School District Income Tax Operating Levies172215179
Other Operating Levies** 03101
Total Operating Levies6975755953

* Emergency levies include substitute levies.

** Other operating levies include technology, safety & security, & county financing district levies

Table 4 provides additional insight on operating levies on the ballot in Ohio by providing a breakdown of new levies, renewal levies, and replacement levies. New levies are defined as those that are placing new millage on the ballot, renewal levies are renewing existing term-limited levies and replacement levies (which are rarely used) restore a levy to its originally voted millage level after it has been reduced by the impact of HB 920 rolling back the voted rate. Substitute levies are considered here to be emergency renewal levies 

Table 4: Operating Levies on the Primary Ballot 2018-2022, By Type

Levy TypeMay 2018May 2019March 2020May 2021May 2022
New Operating Levies3030312314
Renewal Operating Levies3944443638
Replacement Oper. Levies 01001
Total Operating Levies6975755953

Table 4 shows that roughly 60% of operating levies on the ballot in the primary election from 2018 to 2021 were renewal levies, with the percentage of renewals increasing to over 70% this year. The percentage of school levies on the ballot that have been renewals has been steadily increasing in Ohio over the past 25 years. From 1994-1997 82% of school levies were new levies.  This percentage decreased to 67% from 1998-2006, to 57.5% from 2007-2013 and to only 32% from 2014-2020.  While renewal levies are more successful at the ballot (renewal levies typically pass 90% of the time while new levies have passed at roughly a 40% rate in recent years), renewal levies typically do not bring in additional tax dollars whereas new levies do.  

Thus, it is the expectation here that the majority of operating levies on the ballot will pass next week because more than two-thirds of the levies on the ballot are renewals.  While this will certainly be good news in school districts that are facing expiring levies, the increase in revenue will likely be less than if the levies were new rather than renewals

Table 5 provides a complete list of school levies on Ohio’s May 3, 2022 primary ballot. 

Table 5 May 3, 2022 Primary Election School levies By Type

School DistrictCountyLevy TypeNew, Renewal or ReplacementMillage, Percent or $ AmountLength of Levy (# of Years or CPT)*
Capital Levies (N=22)

Lucas Local School DistrictRichlandBondNew$27,000,00037
Green Local School DistrictSummitBondNew$67,845,00037
Canfield Local School DistrictMahoningBondNew$107,800,00037
Riverside Local School DistrictLakeBondNew$147,725,00037
Van Wert City School DistrictVan WertBondNew$5,000,00020
Licking Heights Local School DistrictLickingBondNew$66,000,00037
Belpre City School DistrictWashingtonCombo Bond/PINew$40,000,000CPT/37
North Olmsted City School DistrictCuyahogaCombo Bond/PI/Oper.New$58,000,000CPT/37
Springfield City School DistrictClarkPermanent ImprovementNew5.06CPT

* “CPT” means Continuing Period of Time (i.e unexpiring levy)

Table 5 May 3, 2022 Primary Election School levies By Type, Continued

School DistrictCountyLevy TypeNew, Renewal or ReplacementMillage, Percent or $ AmountLength of Levy (# of Years or CPT)
Capital Levies (Cont.)     
Ansonia Local School DistrictDarkePermanent ImprovementNew2.00CPT
Mississinawa Valley Local SDDarkePermanent ImprovementNew2.00CPT
Lowellville Local School District MahoningPermanent ImprovementNew4.005
Struthers City School DistrictMahoningPermanent ImprovementNew2.805
Alliance City School DistrictStarkPermanent ImprovementNew2.70CPT
Chippewa Local School DistrictWaynePermanent ImprovementNew0.50CPT
South Central Local School DistrictHuronPermanent ImprovementRenew/Increase2.505
Hudson City School DistrictSummitPermanent ImprovementRenewal1.505
Tri-County North Local School DistrictPreblePermanent ImprovementRenewal2.005
Marietta City School DistrictWashingtonPermanent ImprovementRenewal2.955
Clyde-Green Springs Exempted Village SanduskyPermanent ImprovementReplacement1.505
Adena Local School DistrictRossSDIT PINew0.75%10
Bluffton Exempted Village SDAllenSDIT PIRenewal0.50%3
Operating Levies (N=53)     
Madison Local School DistrictButlerSDIT OperatingNew1.00%CPT
Wauseon Exempted Village SDFultonSDIT OperatingNew1.75%5
Blanchester Local School DistrictClintonSDIT Operating/PINew1.25%6
Ayersville Local School DistrictDefianceSDIT OperatingRenewal1.00%5
Evergreen Local School DistrictFultonSDIT OperatingRenewal0.25%5
Newark City School DistrictLickingSDIT OperatingRenewal1.00%CPT
West Liberty-Salem Local SDLogan SDIT OperatingRenewal1.00%5
Wilmington City School DistrictClintonSDIT Operating/PIRenewal1.00%5
Chippewa Local School DistrictWayneSDIT OperatingRenewal1.00%5
Felicity Franklin Local School DistrictClermontProperty Tax OperatingNew8.90CPT
Ayersville Local School DistrictDefianceProperty Tax OperatingNew1.305
Northern Local School DistrictPerryProperty Tax OperatingNew4.75CPT
Springfield Local School DistrictSummitProperty Tax OperatingNew3.905
Reading Community City SDHamiltonProperty Tax OperatingNew9.99CPT
Rossford Exempted Village SD (#1)WoodProperty Tax OperatingRenew/Decrease6.905
Rossford Exempted Village SD (#2)WoodProperty Tax OperatingRenew/Decrease6.905
Delphos City School DistrictAllenProperty Tax OperatingRenewal5.505
Amherst Exempted Village SDLorainProperty Tax OperatingRenewal4.905
Madison Local School DistrictRichlandProperty Tax OperatingRenewal6.905
Cuyahoga Falls City School DistrictSummitProperty Tax OperatingRenewal4.75CPT
Marietta City School DistrictWashingtonProperty Tax OperatingRenewal8.505
Winton Woods City School DistrictHamiltonEmergencyNew5.405
Genoa Area Local School DistrictOttawaEmergencyNew6.005
Marlington Local School DistrictStarkEmergencyNew7.605
Lakeview Local School DistrictTrumbullEmergencyNew6.8010
North Ridgeville City School DistrictLorainEmergencyNew4.9010

Table 5 May 3, 2022 Primary Election School levies By Type, Continued

School DistrictCountyLevy TypeNew, Renewal or ReplacementMillage, Percent or $ AmountLength of Levy (# of Years or CPT)
Operating Levies (Cont.)     
Mapleton Local School DistrictAshlandEmergencyNew3.205
Conneaut Area City School DistrictAshtabulaEmergencyRenewal4.255
Central Local School DistrictDefianceEmergencyRenewal3.665
Swanton Local School DistrictFultonEmergencyRenewal3.205
Willoughby-Eastlake City SDLakeEmergencyRenewal2.4410
Clearview Local School DistrictLorainEmergencyRenewal2.5810
Black River Local School DistrictMedinaEmergencyRenewal6.405
Brunswick City School DistrictMedinaEmergencyRenewal4.5010
Centerville City School DistrictMontgomeryEmergencyRenewal4.5310
Rootstown Local School DistrictPortageEmergencyRenewal4.5010
Tri-County North Local School DistrictPrebleEmergencyRenewal4.8010
Bellevue City School DistrictSanduskyEmergencyRenewal4.1010
Bristol Local School DistrictTrumbullEmergencyRenewal2.955
Champion Local School DistrictTrumbullEmergencyRenewal5.8510
Hubbard Exempted Village SDTrumbullEmergencyRenewal5.155
Joseph Badger Local School DistrictTrumbullEmergencyRenewal2.9510
Strasburg-Franklin School DistrictTuscarawasEmergencyRenewal4.705
Wolf Creek Local School DistrictWashingtonEmergencyRenewal3.585
Amherst Exempted Village SDLorainEmergencyRenewal6.5110
Miami Trace Local School DistrictFayetteEmergencyRenewal3.205
Kirtland Local School DistrictLakeEmergencyRenewal5.505
Jackson-Milton Local School DistrictMahoningEmergencyRenewal3.835
Ontario Local School DistrictRichlandEmergencyRenewal10.2010
Plymouth-Shiloh Local School DistrictRichlandEmergencyRenewal3.905
Tuscarawas Valley School DistrictTuscarawasEmergencyRenewal2.6010
Clark Shawnee Local School DistrictClarkSubstituteRenewal12.10CPT
Genoa Area Local School DistrictOttawaEducation TechnologyReplacement0.505