Voters will find a Sno-Isle Libraries operations levy measure on the April 24 ballot. The measure asks voters to consider a library request to add or "restore" 9 cents to the library levy rate in 2019. The last time Sno-Isle Libraries placed a funding request to voters was in 2009. Voters approved the 9 cents increase which went into effect in 2010.
The levy measure will be decided by a simple majority of voters who submit their signed ballot. After voting closes, watch for election results at Library News.
If voters approve the request, the library operations levy rate would increase to 47 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value in 2019. Use our library tax calculator. The 9-cent increase would be added to the 2018 library operations levy rate of 38 cents. This would provide funding to sustain Sno-Isle Libraries and continue the current level of library services for an additional 7 to 10 years.
If voters reject the funding request, Sno-Isle Libraries will move beyond current cost containment practices and implement budget cuts in 2019 of approximately $2 million and more in 2020 and beyond. Preliminary budget cuts would include reductions in staff positions, reduced purchases of library materials and reduced open hours at all community libraries.
Levy ballot timing
The Board of Trustees for Sno-Isle Libraries voted unanimously in December 2017 to take an operations levy rate increase request to voters in 2018. An April special election was scheduled based on ballot deadlines set by county elections offices.
Levy cost to property owners
Property owners prepay for library services through a library operations levy on property owned. Review your annual property tax statement to find a line item with wording similar to: Library Sno-Isle GEN and a dollar amount. This is the amount you are pre-paying each year for Sno-Isle Libraries services.
The amount you pay as a property owner is determined by multiplying the annual library operations levy rate by the property value assessed by your county and dividing by $1,000. The additional cost to a property owner associated with the April 24 library levy 9-cent increase request can be calculated by adding an amount equal to an additional 9 cents multiplied by your assessed property value and divided by $1,000 to your current annual cost. This increased library levy cost would take affect in 2019, if a majority of voters approve the April library operations levy.Exemptions: Senior citizens, disabled residents, widows/widowers of veterans, and those living on fixed incomes may be exempt from all or part of levy taxes. For more information, contact the assessor in Island County (phone 360-679-7303) or Snohomish County (425-388-3433).
Renters and the library levy
Although renters normally do not directly pay property taxes, they do contribute to library funding through their rental or lease payments. Monthly rental payments often include taxes on the property. A small portion of each monthly payment may help the landlord/property owner pay taxes on the property each year. This means that renters within the library district contribute indirectly to library operations funding.
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