The Library’s Levy is Issue 3 on the November ballot. Voters will see the ballot language for the Library’s Levy speak of an “increase.” However, this is misleading as it doesn’t tell the whole story. While State law mandates ballot language, the reality is that a YES vote on Issue 3, the Library’s Levy, will actually reduce the amount of taxes Mahoning County homeowners currently pay to support their Library.
The Library levy passed in 2009 was 1 mill. The Library levy passed in 2010 was 1.8 mills. Both expire this year. (So 1 mill + 1.8 mills = 2.8 mills)
The Library Board of Trustees and Administration have opted to let the 1-mill levy expire, while adding 0.6 mills (six-tenths of a mill) to the renewal of the 1.8 mills. (So 1.8 mills + 0.6 mills = 2.4 mills)
If the 2014 levy is passed, homeowners will retain their rollback on a portion of this ballot issue: the1.8-mill renewal. The Library chose to renew the 1.8-mill levy, rather than make the ballot issue a replacement, because the renewal allows taxpayers to retain their rollback, which saves them money. Additional savings result from the fact that Issue 3 combines two current levies totaling 2.8 mills and reduces them to one levy at 2.4 mills, with the 1-mill levy expiring.
The taxpayer will see about an 11% savings on their Library levy taxes.
Issue 3 will cost the average homeowner less than $7 per month on $100,000 of property value.
In 2013, the Library’s operating budget receipts were comprised of about 58% and just 42% was state funding. If Issue 3 does not pass, the Library will be left with less than half of its funding and drastic reductions in Library operations would have to be made: half the locations; half the programs for children, teens, adults and seniors; and half the services which now benefit our community. 10-2014
The Citizens Committee for the Library Levy uses no tax dollars. Library levy campaigns are funded privately and depend on donations of money and time from the public.
|Special thanks to the YOUNGSTOWN VINDICATOR for a very supportive editorial in which they state "Voters Get Bang for their Bucks in Backing County Library Levy." Click here to read
||WKBN/WYTV News: "Library Levy Will Save Taxpayers Money." Click here to watch
|Special thanks to the YOUNGSTOWN VINDICATOR for a very supportive editorial about the Library, which ran in the mid-June edition. Click here to read
||Special thanks to the BUSINESS JOURNAL for a very supportive editorial about the Library, which ran in the mid-June edition. Click here to read
| General Information About the Library Levy
|The Library currently has two levies, both of which expire at the end of 2014
• a 1-mill levy passed in 2009
• a 1.8-mill levy passed in 2010
The Library Board on May 29 voted to combine the two current levies into one ballot issue. At the same time, Trustees and Library administration wanted to give a reduction to taxpayers. After reviewing many possible combinations for the levy, the Board voted on a two-fold solution:
• Place a 1.8-mill renewal on the ballot and add six-tenths of a mill. This would be one single ballot issue.
• Allow the current 1-mill levy to expire.
The effect of this combination results in an 11% reduction in taxes for the homeowner.
How Does this Levy Reduce Your Taxes?
Unfortunately, ballot language is dictated by law and will read: “Renewal and Increase.” But in actuality, homeowners will see their Library taxes go down.
The 11% reduction is due to two factors:
• The current 1-mill levy will be retired
• Because the 1.8-mill portion of the levy is a RENEWAL, so homeowners can still retain their rollback savings.
Much thought went into the decision about the type of levy the Library would request. Combining levies to 2.4 mills (down from the current 2.8 mills) would result in a “replacement” levy, rather than a “renewal,” and the homeowner would lose the benefit of the rollback savings.
The current levy costs homeowners $86 per $100,000 of valuation. The new levy will cost $76 per $100,000 or less than $7 per month.
Library Funding has Declined Over the Years
In 2013, Library Levy proceeds amounted to about 58% of receipts.
The other main source of library funding is the Public Library Fund (PLF), which amounted to about 42% of Library receipts in 2013.
The Library has experienced a 30% reduction in PLF funding from 2001 to 2013 Mahoning County libraries went from receiving $10.8 million in PLF funds in 2001 to receiving $7.6 million in PLF funds in 2013.
The Library operates debt-free through good fiscal stewardship.
Building projects are done in accordance with long-range plans going back over 15 years. Money is saved for construction projects. This saves the Library and the taxpayer money in interest charges because financing is not required.
The Library Board and administration believe that this levy will meet the Library's financial needs for providing quality library service, barring any drastic cuts in state funding, while affording some relief to taxpayers.
Lowering taxes for homeowners was a priority for the Library and was possible because funds have been accumulated and earmarked for building projects in the strategic plan and large construction projects will be coming to an end.
The Building and Repair Fund also contains monies needed to maintain the 15 physical buildings in the county-wide library system. [10-10-2014]Library Levy