2019 Levy Proposition

ABOUT THE LEVY PROPOSITION

Pend Oreille County Library District (Library) is asking voters to consider a measure on the August 6, 2019 primary ballot to restore the property tax levy that funds operations of its four library locations.

This measure would restore the property tax levy that funds daily operations and maintenance of its libraries to 50 cents per $1,000 assessed value. Currently the levy rate is at approximately 37 cents per $1,000 assessed value. For the owner of a home with a $200,000 home value, the cost would increase $2.17 per month. Passage of the levy is necessary because the current level of funding is not enough to support the present level of services and available materials provided by the Library and meet the demand for services and materials in the future.

ELECTION DATE

August 6, 2019 (Ballots mailed approximately 3 weeks prior to election date.)

PUBLIC MEETINGS

Newport Library: July 9, 6pm

Metaline Falls Library: July 10, 1pm

Ione Library: July 10, 3pm

Sacheen Fire Station: July 13, 10am

Calispel Valley Library: July 16, 6pm

WHY IS THE LIBRARY ASKING FOR FUNDING NOW?

The Board of Trustees has determined the current level of funding is not enough to support the present level of services and available materials provided by the Library. Although demand for library service in Pend Oreille County is strong and continues to grow, funds supporting these services have not kept pace with increasing costs.

IF APPROVED, THE LIBRARY DISTRICT ANTICIPATES:

  • Maintaining library services at existing levels throughout Pend Oreille County
  • Expanding services to outlying areas of the county by adding mobile outreach abilities
  • Expanding hours and/or days of operation at all existing library locations
  • Replacing outdated computers at all library locations

IF REJECTED, THE LIBRARY DISTRICT ANTICIPATES:

  • Closing two libraries
  • Reducing library hours, materials, and staff
  • Reducing number of events and programs for all ages
  • Eliminating interlibrary loans and services to medically homebound residents
  • Increasing fees to copy, print, and fax

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

ABOUT THE BALLOT

The proposition that will be presented to voters on the August 6, 2019 primary election ballot will be as follows:

Pend Oreille County Library District

Proposition No. 1

Regular Library Operations and Maintenance Levy

The Pend Oreille County Library District Board of Trustees adopted Resolution No. 2019-1 concerning an increase to its regular property tax levy. This proposition would provide continued funding for normal operations and maintenance of library services. This proposition authorizes an increase to the District’s regular property tax levy, from $0.37 to $0.50 per $1,000 of assessed valuation, to be collected in 2020. This levy amount would be used to compute limitations for subsequent levies as provided by chapter 84.55 RCW.

Should this proposition be approved?:

Yes

No

WHAT IS THE LIBRARY’S CURRENT LEVY RATE?

The Library’s current levy rate is approximately 37 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation.

PROPERTY VALUES HAVE RISEN OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS. WHY DOESN’T THIS ADDRESS THE LIBRARY’S NEED FOR FUNDING?

The Library’s property tax levy rate is limited to a maximum 1% increase each year. As inflation grows more than the allowed annual tax increase, the Library’s revenues are not able to cover expenses. The levy restoration is asking for the Library’s funding to return to 50 cents per $1,000 assessed valuation.

IS THIS A NEW TAX?

No, this is not a new tax. This vote restores 13 cents in funding, returning the library to its original voter approved rate of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

HOW MUCH WILL THE LEVY COST?

Voters will be asked to restore the property tax levy rate that funds daily operations and maintenance of its libraries to 50 cents per $1,000 assessed valuations (AV). Currently, the levy rate is at approximately 37 cents per $1,000 AV.

This levy restoration raises that rate 13 cents per $1,000 AV. The estimated increased property tax:

Property Value Monthly Increase Annual Increase
$100,000 $1.08 $13
$150,000 $1.63 $19.50
$200,000 $2.17 $26

Tax Exemptions: Senior citizens and people with disabilities who meet certain income requirements may be exempt from part or all of these local taxes. To learn more, contact the Pend Oreille County Assessor’s Office at 509-447-4312.

WHY CAN’T THE LIBRARY RAISE FUNDS BY A SALES TAX OR OTHER TAX?

The Library does not have taxing authority to impose a sales or any other tax.

WHEN WAS THE LIBRARY’S LEVY LAST INCREASED?

The Library has not ever gone to the voters for an increase. The last time the Library was on the ballot was when the District was formed in the 1980s. At that time, voters approved a rate of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.

ARE THERE ADDITIONAL SOURCES FOR FUNDING AT THE LIBRARY?

Library staff write and compete for grants to supplement programs and initiatives. The Library also receives donations from the Friends of the Library, a non-profit organization that exists to help support certain Library activities. The Library also receives donations from various groups, organizations, and individuals. However, grants to fund basic operations of the Library are not available.

WILL THIS LEVY FUND A NEW LIBRARY IN NEWPORT?

No. This levy funds services and operations.

HOW MANY PEOPLE USE THE LIBRARY?

In 2018, the Pend Oreille County Libraries had about 86,000 visits, 104,067 items were checked out, and 13,123 people attended a library program. Library computers were used 13,085 times and the Wi-Fi connection was utilized 25,759 times.

HOW CAN I REGISTER TO VOTE?

Applications for voter registration must be submitted online or by mail no later than 8 days prior to the election. You can visit a local voting center to register or update your address in person no later than 8pm on Election Day. Online registrations can be submitted at https://weiapplets.sos.wa.gov/MyVote.

WHERE CAN I RETURN MY BALLOT?

Ballots can be returned to drop boxes at the county courthouse in Newport, at the back of the Ione Library, or at a temporary drop box in the Calispel Valley Library (Cusick) by 8pm on August 6. They can also be mailed. Mailed ballots must be postmarked by August 6.

WHO SHOULD I CONTACT WITH MORE QUESTIONS?

Library Director, Mandy Walters: director@pocld.org or 800-366-3654 x 55