This November, voters will once again be asked to support their local library by renewing a 1.275 mil operating levy for five years. This levy is not a new tax and will be crucial in ensuring the continued delivery of top-notch library service to our communities for years to come.
Ohio has a strong tradition of supporting its public libraries, which is why we have some of the best systems in the country, but in recent years that state level funding hasn’t been enough. In 2011, with the Public Library Fund (PLF) at all-time lows due to the Great Recession, voters saved the library by passing a .975 mil operating levy.
In 2015, as the library expanded and improved its offerings in materials, programming, and services, voters were asked to renew the .975 mil levy (preserving eligibility for the homestead exemption on this portion) as well as approve a .3 mil increase. Our communities once again came through to generously support their library system.
Now in 2020, we are seeking a continuation of this vital local support. We believe through careful planning, thoughtful management, and more aggressive pursuit of grants and other funding opportunities, the library can continue to expand and improve its services without increasing your taxes.
As an organization, we have demonstrated our commitment to maximizing the return on your hard earned tax dollars. Throughout the challenges of Covid-19, we have sought and been awarded multiple grants to respond to the crisis and continue to improve as a system. Additionally, our board recently took action to allow the refinancing of construction bonds from the renovation of the Willard Memorial Library, which will save tax payers in the Willard City School District over $100,000 in interest.
Our communities have generously supported us over the last decade, and we are truly grateful for that. We look forward to your continued investment in your local library so that we may continue to provide the excellent service you deserve and have come to expect from us.
-Josh Figley, Fiscal Officer