Voters will decide in August whether to tax themselves an extra $52 annually to bolster Seattle’s strained library system.
Locally, approval of the property tax levy would mean the Northeast branch library, which has the second-heaviest use of any branch in the Seattle Library system, would see less crowding. From the library:
Books, computers, staff, programs, meeting rooms – everything at this branch is in high demand. People who live outside the area also use this branch because hours at their home branches have been cut. The levy will relieve service pressures by expanding hours at other locations. Computers and printers essential to support students, job seekers and others will be upgraded and the collection ofbooks and materials and online services improved. Funding for regular buildingmaintenance is also included.
The levy would also increase the budget for books and materials, and add back resources and maintenance cut since the landmark Libraries For All push finished in 2008.
From that Seattle Times story:
Budget cuts over the past four years have forced the library to close 15 of 26 branch libraries on Fridays and Sundays. The entire system is shut down the last week of August, when the staff, for the past three years, has taken unpaid furlough. The levy would end the weeklong furlough.
The levy would raise about $17 million a year to supplement the libraries’ annual general-fund budget of about $50 million. It would cost the owner of a median-priced $361,000 home $52 a year.