The restored levy maintains Pierce County Library System’s services and returns the Library's levy rate to its full legal amount of 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value. This would be an increase of approximately 10 cents per $1,000 of assessed property. To the owner of an average home assessed at $320,000* this would be approximately a $32 increase in 2019**.
* Source: Pierce County and Case-Shiller Home Price Indices based on assessed home values in unincorporated Pierce County and 15 annexed cities and towns.
** Tax Exemptions: Senior citizens and people with disabilities who meet certain income requirements may be exempt from part or all of these local taxes.
To learn more, please call the Pierce County Assessor’s Exemption Hotline at 253-798-2169 or visit www.co.pierce.wa.us/707/How-to-Apply.
The restored levy maintains services for growing and changing communities.
YES vote: Restored levy maintains library services: Weekend, weekday and evening hours • 1.5 million books, movies and materials • Staff to support learning • Computers, printers, Wi-Fi and technology • Public meeting rooms
Without the restored levy the Library would have: Eliminated and reduced services; open hours; books, movies and materials; classes and events; and closed 2-3 libraries
Costs to operate and maintain library services and libraries are increasing at a faster and higher rate than revenues.
In recent years, costs have increased by an average rate of 4-7 percent a year, while property tax revenues have increased at an average rate of 1-3 percent. Property taxes make up approximately 94 percent of Pierce County Library’s revenue.
State law limits local governments, including Pierce County Library, to an increase in property taxes of no more than 1 percent plus property taxes from new construction each year.
In 2006 voters passed the only restored levy in the 72-year history of the Library System.
The Library System has met or surpassed all levy promises with funding that was projected to maintain services for up to six years. The Library has stretched that funding for 12 years.
Since 2006 the Library’s service area population (2006: 518,000; 2017: 600,000) and the number of people with Pierce County Library cards increased (2006: 198,000; 2017: 323,000).
Demand for library services increased.
Since 2009 to manage its budget, the Library System eliminated, reduced, streamlined or did not offer services and deferred maintenance totaling $20 million.
The majority of the library buildings are more than 25 years old and receive more than 2 million visits every year. To manage its budget, the Library has limited maintenance. In the next five years, 15 of 20 library buildings require maintenance:
Find out more about the Community Engagement involved in the decision to place the levy on the ballot, including the winter 2018 public input for Your Library Priorities.
Tel: 253-548-3300 Fax: 253-537-4600 Washington Relay TTY: 711
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