Five Rivers MetroParks appreciates Montgomery County residents, who support their MetroParks with a property tax levy that funds approximately 80 percent of everything MetroParks does to provide quality and value for the community.
Montgomery County voters overwhelmingly approved the 2018 levy to “keep up our parks.” 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
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.
- 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 areas 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 Valleys 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 80 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.