A: With a 54.98 percent approval, voters supported Proposition 1, to re-authorize Pierce County Library System’s levy rate.
A: The costs to operate the libraries and provide services have barely kept up with revenues. Costs to operate the libraries are expected to increase at about 5-6 percent a year, while revenues are expected to increase by 3-4 percent a year.
A state law established in 2002 limits property tax increases to no more than 1 percent more than the amount collected the previous year.
The Library’s service area has also grown significantly - 49 percent more people are now in
the area: 342,000 estimated in 1996; 509,000 estimated in 2006.
A: Costs of some materials have increased.
The Library buys materials in multiple formats to meet customers’ demands, for example, books, books on CDs, DVDs of books made into movies, large print copies of books, downloadable books, etc. With more people in the Library’s service area, people make more requests for a limited number of materials.
Computer technology costs for faster, more reliable Internet access and more demands on computers from customers.
Similar to small and large businesses in the county, the Library is also faced with staff costs that the Library predicts will continue to increase.
A: Since 2002, the Library System has cut more than $1 million in services.
A: Since 2002, the Library cut $1 million in services.
Revenues continue to barely keep up with costs.
Since fall 2005, the Library asked and received public comments from 3,000 people regarding library services people valued, wanted and needed.
A Community Advisory Committee, of community leader volunteers, reviewed the Library’s funding issues and public comments and concluded that voters should improve library services to meet the needs of growing and changing communities.
On July 12, 2006, the Library System’s Board of Trustees passed a resolution to place a
proposition to re-authorize the Library levy rate onthe Sept. 19, 2006 primary ballot to restore library funding by increasing the Library System's current levy rate by 8 cents per $1,000 of assessed property.
On Sept. 19, 2006, voters gave a 54.98 percent approval of Proposition 1 and voted to re-authorize the Library’s levy rate.
A: In 2006, taxpayers paid 40 cents for every $1,000 in assessed property for library services. On average, homeowners paid $90 in 2006 for library services. Restoring library funding to 48 cents per $1,000 of assessed property would cost the average home assessed at $244,000 an increase of $27 for one year - 2007 - for a total of $117.
A: Based upon the top priority library services nearly 3,000 survey respondents called for, with funding from the re- authorized levy customers will get the following services:
Expanded open hours. The Library System will increase open hours by 20 percent, open all libraries on Mondays during the day and evening, open nine libraries on Sundays, and open six libraries on Thursday evenings.
Wider variety of books, CDs and other materials. The Library will cut the time people
wait for popular books and increase the variety of books, CDs and other materials.
Added services for kids and teenagers. The Library will add services for kids and teenagers to help them read, do homework and be successful in school.
Upgraded services and technology for customers. The Library System will add computers with Internet access for customers and offer free computer classes for adults.
Tel: 253-548-3300 Fax: 253-537-4600 Washington Relay TTY: 711
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