Multnomah County Library: Officials agree to seek levy first, then taxing district
January 3, 2012
By Beth Slovic, The Oregonian
Multnomah County officials announced a compromise today on funding the popular library system, agreeing to ask voters to extend the current levy in May and to approve a taxing district in November.
Officials will seek an extension of the current levy, which is 89 cents per $1,000 in property value, in May. Then they'll ask voters in November to approve a new taxing district that would cost property owners $1.18 per $1,000 in value.
For owners of a home assessed at $200,000, the levy costs $178 a year; the district would run $236, an increase of $58.
Officials have debated for months how to fund the 19-branch Multnomah County Library system, the nation's second-busiest. Voters in November 2010 cleared the way to create a permanent district.
Supporters of a district, including a crowd that showed up at a Multnomah County commissioners meeting Dec. 22, argued that it would free the library from the uncertainty of voter-approved levies.
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