Published October 17, 2012 by the Mercury editorial board
MEASURE 26-143 (LIBRARY DISTRICT): YES
Books! Arguably more popular in Portland than their archrival: boobs. The good news is you can vote to support books this year because Multnomah County's library district is a smart idea that's long overdue. The bad news is it'll cost the average Portland homeowner about $49 a year—more than the price of that new JK Rowling hardcover.
Here's the deal: The county library system kind of kicks ass, circulating more material than any library in the country except New York's, checking out nearly 24 million works a year (twice as many as Seattle's system) and spending less of its budget on staff than many of its peers.
But for years, the library has been funded with "temporary" levies and bailouts from the county that could be spent on other things. This permanent tax district will replace the always-fluctuating levies with a stable funding source, so the library can restore cuts to staff and hours made earlier this year and ensure we'll be able to check out books for years to come.
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