Jefferson County library vote coming

PORT HADLOCK – Jefferson County voters will decide during a Feb. 6 special election whether or not the Jefferson County Library can have a levy lid lift.

The current maintenance and operations levy rate is 42 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property valuation.

The proposed levy rate would ask property owners to pay 43 cents for every $1,000 of assessed property valuation.

The owner of a $200,000 home would pay a total of $86 a year if the levy is approved.

No organized opposition has formed to the library request.

The 1-cent increase request is fueled by the fact that properties in the Chimacum School District will be reassessed in 2007.

Without the lid lift, the rate is estimated to fall to about 33 cents after the reassessment, said Jefferson County Library Director Ray Serebrin.

That’s because of Initiate 747, which puts a 1 percent maximum increase on property taxes per year.

“It’s made it hard to run the place,” Serebrin said of the 1 percent cap.

Because the library, at 620 Cedar Ave., Port Hadlock, is proposing a lid lift and not a new levy, it will take a simple 50 percent plus one vote majority to pass.

New levies require a 60 percent supermajority.

If approved, the new rate would be collected in 2008.

Serebrin said if the lid lift doesn’t pass, the approximate budget of $1.3 million faces a $100,000 deficit in 2008 and a $149,000 deficit in 2009.

“We will have to cut hours, and cutting hours means cutting staff,” Serebrin said.

He said if the levy is approved, it should allow the library to maintain at its current levy through 2015.

The levy money will allow the library to maintain it’s existing hours, collections, programs and staffing levels, said Serebrin.

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