The Pierce County Library System has a ballot measure on the November 6 general election ballot. Proposition No. 1 is a levy lid lift that would restore the Library System’s funding 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.
Why is the restored levy on the November ballot?
The restored levy is on the November ballot because costs to operate and maintain library services and libraries are increasing at a faster and higher rate than revenues.
In 2006 voters passed the only re-authorized levy in the 72-year history of the Library System. The Library System has met or surpassed all levy promises with funding from the 2006 levy, which 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 has grown by 16% to 602,000 people and the number of people with library cards has grown by 63% to 323,000 people.
Since 2009 to manage its budget, the Library System eliminated, reduced, streamlined, or did not offer services and deferred maintenance totaling $20 million.
What would happen if the restored levy passes and what would happen if it fails?
The restored levy would maintain services including open hours at 20 locations and online library resources; 1.5 million books, e-books, movies and other materials; staff to support learning with thousands of classes and events; computers, Wi-Fi and technology; and community spaces.
Without the restored levy, the Library System would further eliminate and reduce services including a 10% reduction in the hours libraries are open; a 14-21% decrease in the number of books, movies and other materials; and a 40% reduction in classes and events; as well as close two to three libraries.
How can you learn more about the restored levy?
Visit any library and pick up information and talk with staff or visit levy.pcls.us.