Delaware County voters have approved higher taxes on hotel bills to fund infrastructure improvements at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.

Delaware County voters have approved higher taxes on hotel bills to fund infrastructure improvements at the Delaware County Fairgrounds.

With all 152 precincts reporting, unofficial results from the Delaware County Board of Elections show the 3 percent bed-tax hike passing 62 to 38 percent, or 40,139 to 24,994 votes. The tax hike, which has a term of five years, will be paid by lodgers who stay in Delaware County hotels.

Fair officials have estimated the tax increase will lead to about $190,000 in revenue per year that can be used only for infrastructure fixes at fairgrounds on Pennsylvania Avenue in Delaware. The issue made it to the primary ballot after fair officials lobbied state legislature members for more than a year to allow the fair to seek a new funding source.

Fair officials have said the current state of the fairgrounds threatens its signature event, the Little Brown Jug harness race. Eighteen of the buildings at the site date back to 1960 and seven predate 1940.

Updates to roads and electrical infrastructure top officials' wish lists for improvements at the site.

The tax increase was opposed by the Ohio Hotel and Lodging Association, with its director arguing the measure unfairly singled out the industry.

Easy win for Delaware County DD levy

Delaware County voters overwhelmingly voted to renew a levy that supports the Delaware County Board of Developmental Disabilities.

With all 152 precincts reporting, unofficial results from the Delaware County Board of Elections show the five-year, 2.1-mill passing 70.5 to 29.5 percent, or 47,224 to 19,762 votes.

The levy generates about $13.4 million in revenue annually, which represents about two-thirds of the agency's budget.

The levy will continue to cost county property owners about $62 per $100,000 in property valuation annually.

Board Superintendent Kristine Hodge previously said the levy's failure could have resulted in "devastating" cuts in services to the board's clients.

According to board records, in 2015 the agency served about 2,500 individuals.