Board of Trustees adopts budget for 2018

The 2018 budget for Sno-Isle Libraries is in place following unanimous action by the Board of Trustees at the Nov. 27 regular meeting.

“This budget focuses on the 2017-19 strategic priorities for the library district,” Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory said in presenting the budget during the meeting at the district’s Service Center in Marysville. “The budget also continues to integrate elements of our 10-year capital facilities plan.”

On the revenue side, the budget is based on just more than $57 million in total revenue. Property-tax revenue accounts for 96.7 percent of the revenue. Property-tax revenue comes from a levy on properties in unincorporated Snohomish and Island counties as well as cities that have annexed to the library district.

The estimated levy rate for 2018 will decrease to 38 cents for each $1,000 of assessed property value, well under the 50-cent cap allowed by law. The decline is due to a combination of the law limiting levy increases to not more than 1 percent a year and rising property values.

To maintain current levels of service, the 2018 budget includes a transfer from reserves totaling $4.8 million.

“Using reserves in this manner was always part of the library district’s long-term budget planning,” Woolf-Ivory said. “Voters approved a levy-rate increase in 2009. For the six years starting in 2010, funds were placed into the levy rate stabilization reserve account. Starting in 2016, we began using those savings to maintain service levels.”

On the expense side of the budget, the two biggest items are related to people and materials. Salaries and benefits account for 68 percent of the expenditures for 2018. New materials for the library district collection – books, music, movies, digital resources and more – add up to 13.4 percent of the operating budget.

Among the other expenditures include professional and contract services at 4 percent of the budget and software and licensing fees at 2 percent.