Sometimes an open house can be as close as your fingertips. Or thumbs.
“We are looking at ways to inform library-district residents about the upcoming operations levy on the April 24 ballot,” Sno-Isle Libraries Executive Director Jonalyn Woolf-Ivory said. “In addition to 10 physical open-house events scheduled across the district, we have an online version that is available 24-7.”
A link to the online open house and other levy information is available at sno-isle.org/levy using any computer or mobile device.
“Our responsibility is to help residents be informed about the ballot measure,” Woolf-Ivory said. “It is their decision on how to vote.”
The ballot measure asks voters to consider adding 9 cents to the current levy rate of 38 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. The last time the library district asked voters for a levy-rate adjustment was in 2009.
“In 2009, we pledged to not come back to the voters for at least five years,” Woolf-Ivory said. The library district stretched that to nine years by using funding needed to maintain services and putting the rest in a reserve account, saving it for later.
For the past several years, that reserve account has helped balance the budget and delay going back to the voters.
“Talking about property taxes right now is tough,” Woolf-Ivory said. “Some people believe that library property-tax revenue goes up as fast as their property value, but that’s not the way it works.
“State law caps our property-tax funds at a 1 percent increase each year, no matter how fast property values increase. There is an exception for new construction, but it doesn’t keep pace with costs.”
At the physical open-house events, library staff members will be on hand to answer questions. Those events are scheduled for:
- Edmonds Library, 6-7 p.m.
- Mill Creek City Hall North, 6-7 p.m.
- Freeland Library, 10:30-11:30 a.m.