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It’s official. The library levy hike will be on Pierce County ballots in the fall.

The Pierce County Library System board will ask voters to approve a levy hike in November to help fund services and branches, including the South Hill branch seen here in 2011.
The Pierce County Library System board will ask voters to approve a levy hike in November to help fund services and branches, including the South Hill branch seen here in 2011. News Tribune file photo

It’s official — voters will see a library levy tax hike on the Pierce County ballots in November.

The Pierce County Library Board of Trustees passed a resolution Wednesday with a 4-0 vote to place the restored levy on the fall ballot. The resolution needed a majority of three to pass.

“We put a lot of effort into asking the community what they want,” board chairman Robert Allen said. “In order to keep providing those services that people told us again and again that they want, to meet the public’s expectations, it’s really important that we restore our funding to the full legal limits.”

The restored levy — 50 cents for every $1,000 in assessed property value — would bring in $7 million a year. The owner of a $317,000 house, the average value in the library service district, would pay $159 in taxes, up from $128.

The money would focus on maintaining library services, such as “convenient” hours and online library resources, according to the library district.

Without the higher levy, the library district will continue to cut programs and resources, including permanently closing as many as three library locations, officials said.

The most recent restored levy funding came in 2006. The levy was projected to sustain the libraries through 2012, but the funding stretched to 12 years. In the years since the most recent levy approval, the library service area increased 16 percent and the number of people with library cards went up 63 percent.

A Community Advisory Committee, a 13-member panel of composed of people in leadership positions from across the community, recommended the increase in June.

Meredith Spelbring: mspelbring@thenewstribune.com, 253-597-8509

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