A paper township is a type of civil township under Ohio law that does not act as a functioning unit of civil government. Such townships usually exist due to annexation by cities and villages.
Cities and villages in Ohio, which all sprang from townships, are an extra layer of local government which exist above townships. Once the territory of a township is completely enveloped by cities and villages, the township government ceases to function under ORC 703.22. Often an entire township has been incorporated under a different name, such as Van Buren Township in Montgomery County, which became the City of Kettering in 1955. Another example is Mill Creek Township in south-central Hamilton County, which was absorbed by the City of Cincinnati in the 19th century.
Another type of paper township is a township which can exist nominally in rump form but have no government because it is unpopulated. On January 23, 1981, Wayne Township in Montgomery County was re-incorporated as the city of Huber Heights. However, a small portion of Wayne Township east of the Mad River was part of Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. Under ORC 709.01 territory on military installations can not be incorporated without the approval of the Secretary of Defense. Thus, that portion of Wayne Township still nominally exists, but has no local government. It is the only such type of paper township in Ohio.
As of the 2010 Census, there were 16 paper townships of this kind in Ohio, 15 of which were wholly within the boundaries of a city or village, and one of which was unpopulated.
Another kind of paper township allows a city or village to become completely independent of the real township from which it was created. Usually coextensive with the municipality, it prevents property owners within city limits from voting in both city and township elections but also relieves them of having to pay property taxes to both governments.According to Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney Joe Deters, upon its creation, the paper township "will effectively never exist because its offices would be immediately abolished under ORC 703.22 when it is created."
A municipality that spans multiple counties, such as Loveland, may withdraw from each of its townships. However, no township may span county lines; therefore, multiple paper townships must be erected in order for the municipality to completely withdraw. When the municipality annexes additional land, township boundaries must be explicitly adjusted to reflect the change.Under 1953 case law, a paper township may not be considered an adjoining township for the purpose of dissolving a township.
A paper township does not have to share the municipality's name. For example:
Withdrawal via paper townships can dramatically reduce a real township's territory and tax base. Columbia Township in Hamilton County and Lemon Township in Butler County were once large and populous but gradually shrank to small, discontiguous neighborhoods as surrounding cities and villages withdrew and continued to annex township land. A township can merge with another township or municipality either through a referendum or with the consent of the relevant boards of trustees or councils.
As of the 2010 Census, 258 municipal corporations (179 cities and 79 villages) have fully or partially withdrawn from functioning townships to create this kind of paper township.Of those partially withdrawn, 24 are cities and 3 are villages.
Fairfield is a suburban city located in both Butler and Hamilton counties in the U.S. state of Ohio. Fairfield is located approximately 25 miles north of Cincinnati and is situated on the east bank of the Great Miami River. The population was 42,510 at the 2010 census. Incorporated in 1955 from portions of Fairfield Township, it includes the former hamlets of Symmes Corner, Fair Play, Furmandale, and Stockton. The Fairfield City School District is one of the largest in Ohio and serves both the City of Fairfield and Fairfield Township.
Warren County is a county located in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Ohio. As of the 2010 census, the population was 212,693. Its county seat is Lebanon. The county was created on May 1, 1803 from Hamilton County; it is named for Dr. Joseph Warren, a hero of the Revolution who sent Paul Revere and the overlooked William Dawes on their famous rides and who died at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Warren County is part of the Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Butler County is a county located in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Ohio. As of the 2010 census, the population was 368,130. Its county seat is Hamilton. It is named for General Richard Butler, who died in 1791 during St. Clair's Defeat. Located along the Great Miami River, it is also home to Miami University, a public university founded in 1809. Butler County is part of the Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN Metropolitan Statistical Area. The majority of the county is in District 52 of the State House.
Hamilton is a city in and the county seat of Butler County, Ohio. Located 20 miles (32 km) north of Cincinnati, Hamilton is the second largest city in the Greater Cincinnati area. The population was 62,447 at the 2010 census. Hamilton is governed under a council-manager form of government; the current mayor is Patrick Moeller and the city manager is Joshua Smith. Most of the city is served by the Hamilton City School District.
Trenton is a city in northeastern Butler County, Ohio, United States, west of Middletown. Originally in Madison Township, it later annexed land in Wayne Township. The population was 11,869 at the 2010 census.
Loveland is a city in Hamilton, Clermont, and Warren counties in the southwestern part of the U.S. state of Ohio. Considered part of the Greater Cincinnati area, Loveland is located near exit 52 off Interstate 275, about 15 miles (24 km) northeast of the Cincinnati city limits. It borders Symmes, Miami and Hamilton Townships and straddles the Little Miami River. The population was 12,081 at the 2010 census and was estimated at 13,145 in 2019. Once a busy railroad town, Loveland is now a major stop along the Little Miami Scenic Trail.
Symmes Township is one of the twelve townships of Hamilton County, Ohio, United States. The 2010 census found 14,683 people in the township.
West Chester Township is one of the thirteen townships of Butler County, Ohio, United States, located in the southeastern corner of the county. It is situated between Sharonville and Liberty Township, about 18 miles (29 km) north of Cincinnati, and is included in the Cincinnati Metropolitan Area. Exits 19, 21 and 22 off Interstate 75 serve West Chester. It is the most populous township in Ohio, with a population at the 2010 census of 60,958.
Hamilton Township, one of the eleven townships of Warren County, Ohio, United States, is in the south central portion of the county. The 2000 census found 9,630 people there, up significantly from the 5,900 in 1990. 8,645 of the total in 2000 lived in the unincorporated portions of the township. It is the fastest growing area of Warren County and is about 36 miles² (93 km2) in area.
Lemon Township is one of thirteen townships in Butler County, Ohio, United States. Located in the northeastern part of the county, it includes most of the city of Monroe. It had a population of 13,875 at the 2010 census. It is the only Lemon Township statewide.
Madison Township is one of thirteen townships in Butler County, Ohio, United States. Located in northeastern Butler County just west of Middletown, it had a population of 8,448 people as of the 2010 census, down from 8,611 in 2000. While it surrounds the city of Trenton, the city is no longer part of the township. It is named for James Madison, president of the United States at the time of its creation in 1810, and is one of twenty Madison Townships statewide.
Liberty Township is an affluent suburb of Cincinnati located in Butler County, Ohio. It is one of thirteen townships in Butler County, Ohio, United States. It is located on the east-central part of the county, just south of the city of Monroe. With an area of about 29 square miles (75 km2) it is smallest of the thirteen townships but one of the fastest growing areas in southwest Ohio, having a population of 37,259 at the 2010 census, up from 22,819 in 2000 and just 9,249 in 1990. It was named for Liberty, Pennsylvania, at the suggestion of John Morrow, a resident in the township at the time of its formation in 1803 who was the brother of Ohio Governor Jeremiah Morrow, after his hometown. The first settler was John Nelson, who arrived in 1796, seven years before Ohio became a state. It is one of 25 Liberty Townships statewide.
Fairfield Township, one of thirteen townships in Butler County, Ohio, United States, is located in the south central portion of the county. It had a population of 21,373 at the 2010 census, up from 15,571 in 2000, but down sharply from 49,353 in 1990 because of the withdrawal of the city of Fairfield in 1994 and annexations from Fairfield and Hamilton. Before annexations by the cities of Hamilton and Fairfield, it had an area of about 50 square miles (130 km2).
St. Clair Township, one of thirteen townships in Butler County, Ohio, United States, consists of three disconnected pieces located along the Great Miami River in central Butler County. It had a population of 6,908 at the 2010 census, down from 7,336 in 2000. Exclusive of the village of New Miami and the southern part of the village of Seven Mile, which lie within its borders, the unincorporated portion of St. Clair Township had 4,404 inhabitants in 2010.
Wayne Township, one of thirteen townships in the county, is located in north-central Butler County, Ohio, United States between Trenton and Oxford. It had a total population of 4,443 at the 2010 census, up from 4,252 in 2000. Exclusive of the two incorporated villages in the township, Jacksonburg and Seven Mile, Wayne Township had a population of 3,884 in 2010. It has an area of 36.6 square miles (94.9 km2), comprising one whole survey township in the Congress Lands.
Milford Township, one of thirteen townships in the county, is located in north-central Butler County, Ohio, United States, between Oxford and Middletown. The township had a population of 3,550 at the 2010 census, up from 3,254 in 2000. Excluding the now-defunct village of Somerville, 3,269 people lived in the unincorporated part of the township.
Hanover Township, one of thirteen townships in the county, is located in west-central Butler County, Ohio, United States, midway between Hamilton and Oxford. It had a population of 8,311 as of the 2010 census, up from 7,878 in 2000. It is named for Hanover County, Virginia, where the early settlers originated. Statewide, other Hanover Townships are located in Ashland, Columbiana, and Licking counties.
Madison Township is one of the seventeen townships of Franklin County, Ohio, United States. The 2010 census found 23,509 people in the township, 10,795 of whom lived in the unincorporated portions of the township.
The administrative divisions of Ohio are counties, municipalities, townships, special districts and school districts.
Here's how Loveland City Manager Tom Carroll defines a 'paper' township: 'A paper township is common for villages and cities, and it is a legal mechanism to remove property annexed into a city from the township in which it was originally situated...'
But based on a quick review, Mason likely would not be able to absorb Deerfield Township if it were dissolved, said Cheryl Subler, policy analyst for the County Commissioner Association of Ohio. According to 1953 case law, a paper township 'may not be considered an adjoining township,' she said.