Counties in Ohio
Types of local government
Local government in Ohio consists of:
- Counties: There are 88 counties in Ohio. Two counties, Summit and Cuyahoga, operate under charters.
- Municipalities: There are 938 municipalities in Ohio. Municipalities with fewer than 5,000 residents are considered villages. Those with 5,000 or more residents are considered cities. There are 251 cities--188 operate under a charter. There are 687 villages--75 operate under a charter.
- Townships: There are 1,308 townships in Ohio. Each of Ohio's counties is subdivided into townships.
- In addition, there are 700 special districts and 668 independent school districts.
Initiative process availability
- All 66 General law cities have a mandated initiative process for ordinances.
- All 636 General law villages have a mandated initiative process for ordinances.
- All 183 Charter cities have a mandated initiative process for charter amendments.
- All 51 Charter villages have a mandated initiative process for charter amendments.
- All 86 General law counties do not have general initiative or referendum processes though Title V of the Ohio Revised Code specifies limited cases.
- All 2 Charter counties have a mandated initiative process for charter amendments.
County website evaluations
- See also: Evaluation of Ohio county websites
As of 2009:
- Six counties posted their county budgets online.
- 28 counties included information on their websites about public government meetings.
- 40 included information about the county's elected officials.
- 31 included information about the county's administrative officials.
- 33 counties gave information about permits and zoning in the county.
- 40 of the counties put information on their websites about external audits.
- Five counties gave information about their contracts with county vendors.
- No county websites disclosed whether the county belonged to any government sector lobbying associations.
- 19 counties provided information on how to request public records using the Ohio Open Records Law.
- 62 county websites provided some information about county taxes.
Ballotpedia evaluated ballot measure information on Ohio county websites in March 2012.
The county library district board has seven members, three appointed by the common pleas judges and four by the county commission. The county commission is their taxing authority. The major source of funding for the county library district is the Ohio Library and Local Government Support Fund, which consists of 6.3% of the Ohio income tax. The board may hold title to property, spend funds, hire employees and establish rules for the operation and maintenance of free public libraries. ORC 3375 gives details of the various types of libraries in Ohio.
In each county there is a Soil and Water Conservation District. Their governing board is elected by county citizens over 18 years of age who attend the district annual meeting. The county commission is their taxing authority, and they are funded by state and county appropriations. The board is responsible for conducting surveys, developing plans, implementing measures and establishing rules to achieve soil conservation. Soil and Water Conservation District law is found in ORC chapter 1515.
List of counties
- National Association of Counties Website, "County Seats," accessed September 18, 2013
- County Commissioners' Association of Ohio, County Commissioners Handbook, Chapter 2, "County Structural Options," September 2012 (revised)
- Ohio Municipal League, "List of Municipalities," accessed September 29, 2012
- Ohio Municipal League, "Ohio Municipalities with Charters," accessed September 29, 2012
- U.S. Census Bureau, "Governments--Individual State Descriptions," accessed September 29, 2012, pg. 315
- The U.S. Census Bureau's 2012 study of local governments
- Ballotpedia: Types and #'s of local government by state