Multnomah County voters appeared to be easily approving a permanent library district in early returns by a margin of 60 to 40 percent, potentially giving the county library system a dedicated stream of property tax funding for the first time.
Measure 26-143 authorizes the county to charge property owners $1.24 for every $1,000 in assessed property value, or about $186 a year for owners of a house assessed at $150,000. About half the homes in the county have assessments higher than that amount, and half are assessed below that level.
Voter approval of the district frees the county from having to go back to voters every few years to renew short-term property tax levies. It also frees up several million dollars a year from the county’s general fund that has been used to supplement money from the short-term levies.
The county has relied on short-term property tax levies to fund the bulk of its library budget since 1976.
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