COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Columbus voters will decide whether to supply additional funds to the Columbus Metropolitan Library this November.
The Columbus Metropolitan Library Board of Trustees voted last week to approve a 1.5-mill continuing levy on voters’ ballots in the Nov. 7 general election. The funds will support operating expenses, including investing in materials, technology, programs and facility maintenance.
“We committed to Franklin County voters in 2010 that we would not return to them for additional levy funds for a minimum of 10 years,” Columbus Metropolitan Library CEO Patrick Losinski said in a news release. “Strong fiscal stewardship has stretched that funding 13 years – 30% beyond our promise to voters. If approved, this additional 1.5 mill levy will enable us to make continued investments in materials, resources, technology, programs and facilities.”
The property tax would generate more than $39 million for the library system during its first year. Like other levies, it’s measured in “mills,” or one-tenth of a cent. For every $50,000 of a property’s taxable value — which is 35% of the market value — the proposed levy would increase property owners’ taxes by a little over $26.
Columbus voters last approved a levy for the library system in 2010 by a two-thirds majority, according to the Ohio Library Council. The 2.8-mill levy replaced a continuing levy to fund operational costs.
The proposed levy would be in addition to the 2.8-mill continuing levy. A library spokesperson said even as property taxes increase with reappraisals, the amount of money the library receives remains the amount decided in 2010. The existing levy now operates at an effective rate of 2.18 mills.
If passed, the levy would ensure the library can fully operate for at least the next decade, the spokesperson said.