Restoration of the library’s M&O levy rate 2018

Whitman County Rural Library District
Restoration of the library’s M&O levy rate 2018

Why does the library need to restore its maintenance and operations levy rate?

Due to limitations set by I-747, the Library’s levy rate continually drops causing the budget to lose pace with costs. As a result, a vote is required on occasion to reset the library’s levy rate to 50 cents per $1000 of property value.

What will happen if the levy rate is not restored?

WCL’s 2018 budget already includes major cuts to every area except open hours. For 2019, sizeable cuts to open hours, staffing, materials, online resources and public programs will occur.

Is this a new tax and what will it cost?

This is not a new tax. This vote restores .4 cents in funding, returning the library to a tax rate of .50 cents per $1000 of assessed property value.

What do I get for my money?

Award-winning library services from a dedicated staff (14 FTE), in 14 countywide locations, online and through home delivery. Whitman County Libraries are open to the public 172 hours per week, providing programs for all ages, books and eBooks, Internet and Wi-Fi hotspots, online products computer, Robotics, Internet Safety, literacy and other programs for youth, services to daycares, senior facilities, homebound residents, and so much more!

If approved, what will the levy lid lift cost the average taxpayer?

The owner of a $150,000 home will see an increase of approximately $6 per year, with the overall tax for library service rising from $69 to $75 per year. The average farm ground will increase by 2.5-5.5 cents per acre, or a total tax per acre averaging 25 cents.

How do WCL services compare to other libraries of our size?

WCL child/teen program attendance 23,475 or 68% higher than state average of 7534 WCL adult program attendance 15,471 or 83% higher than state average of 2671 WCL book circulation 163,467 or 93% higher than state average of 10,960 WCL online usage 270,515 or 75% higher than the state average of 67,080

Is this levy to fund The Center or branch library renovations?

No. Renovation of The Center at Colfax Library, along with Uniontown, Endicott and other branch renovations have all been funded through grants, donations, and volunteers. The levy increase is needed strictly for operations and services.

What is the library’s budget and how much will the levy add?

Generally, local revenues generate just over $1 million for the rural library district. Officials anticipate the levy will add about $90,000 to the annual budget. Most library systems with a $1 million budget have 1 location, while WCL has 14 community locations.

What does $90,000 fund at WCL?

2-3 branch libraries All library materials, Internet access and the library catalog 1/6 of all staff, most of whom are part-time already

Who will vote?

All residents living within the unincorporated Whitman County and within the cities of Albion, Colfax, Endicott, Farmington, Garfield, Lacrosse, Lamont, Malden, Oakesdale, Palouse, St. John and Tekoa will vote.

Who will pay?

Everyone living within the library district will pay, either through taxes or contract fees. (Towns paying the same rate through contract fees are: Colton, Rosalia, Uniontown.)

What are the particulars of the election?

Whitman County Library’s levy restoration measure will run on the February 13, 2018 ballot with a simple majority needed to pass the measure.

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