Five Rivers MetroParks appreciates Montgomery County residents, who support their MetroParks with a property tax levy that funds approximately 87 percent of everything MetroParks does to provide quality and value for the community.

Most of Five Rivers MetroParks’ funding — approximately 87% — comes from a 2-mill 10-year property tax levy passed in 2018. Five Rivers MetroParks is extremely grateful for voters’ support and the value they place on access to the outdoors and protecting our region’s natural heritage.

Montgomery County voters overwhelmingly approved the 2018 levy (a replacement of 1.8 mills with an increase of 0.2 mills) to “keep up our parks.” The levy represents approximately 2% of the property taxes Montgomery County property owners pay each year. This allows Five Rivers MetroParks to continue to:

  • provide safe, clean parks and trails
  • protect green space, waterways and natural resources
  • offer numerous opportunities for residents of all ages to experience the outdoors and have healthy, active lifestyles
  • serve as a community asset that improves economic development and quality of life

While the levy provides 87% of the agency’s funding, there remains a13% funding gap, which equals approximately $3.5 million a year — dollars that must be found from grants, philanthropic support, user fees and other alternative revenue sources. Despite MetroParks’ success in raising these additional dollars, the funding hasn’t been enough to take care of the parks’ amenities. The bottom line: To meet the agency’s needs so it can provide access to nature now and moving forward, your MetroParks needs more financial support. The bulk of those needs are in capital repairs and replacements, as do many other organizations of this size and that have existed for more than 60 years.

Funding Breakdown

Five Rivers MetroParks takes its role as a responsible steward of public funds very seriously.

Since 2010, Five Rivers MetroParks has diversified its revenue and significantly tightened its spending to help fill the gap created by lower property tax revenues and the loss of state funding. In addition, the Five Rivers MetroParks Foundation was established in 2014 to fund special projects, programs and endowments. MetroParks also has sought new sources of revenue through partnerships, sponsorships and fees, which have generated nearly $1 million in new annual revenue in recent years.

Funding History

  • In 1965, to ensure adequate and consistent funding, Montgomery County voters passed a 0.3 mill, 10-year levy on the May ballot.
  • In 1974, voters renewed the existing levy (0.3 mill) with an addition of 0.2 mills. The majority of this money was used for land acquisition.
  • In the 1970s, inflation brought the park district (MetroParks) to a financial pinch. A fundraising campaign set a goal of raising $500,000 a year beyond the levy income. Most of this came from the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund administered by the state. The rest was provided by donations, income from trust funds and the local government fund.
  • In May 1984, voters renewed the 0.5 mill levy was for another 10 years.
  • In 1988, the MetroParks passed a 0.7 mill, 10-year increase levy, canceling the then current 0.5 mill levy.
  • In 1994, Montgomery County voters approved a 10 year, 1.2 mill levy. The purpose of the levy was to provide additional funds needed to implement a plan to protect and enhance the area’s major river corridors while continuing to provide a high level of services at existing park sites.
  • In 2000, the citizens of Montgomery County showed overwhelming support of MetroParks by passing a new 1.8 mill, 10-year levy (to replace the 1.2 mill levy) with a 65 percent vote in favor of the levy.
  • In November 2009, in spite of a recession, citizens soundly chose to protect our parks by passing a replacement 1.8 mill, 10-year levy. Their approval by nearly 71 percent demonstrated the Miami Valley’s commitment to high quality, low cost educational and recreational opportunities, as well as their understanding of the need to preserve and protect green spaces for future generations.
  • On Nov. 6, 2018, Montgomery County residents overwhelmingly voted yes on Issue 6, a 10-year replacement levy of 1.8 mills, with a slight increase of 0.2 mills. Voters chose to “keep up our parks,” demonstrating they value Five Rivers MetroParks as a community asset that improves economic development and quality of life. The replacement levy funds approximately 87 percent of MetroParks’ work to protect and maintain local greenspace and waterways, as well as its work to provide clean, safe parks and opportunities for residents of all ages to enjoy the outdoors and have healthy, active lifestyles. It represents approximately 2% of the property taxes Montgomery County residents pay each year.

Stay Updated!

We Want Your Feedback!