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Vedder: Supports San Juan Island Library's need for levy increase

  • Written by Karen and Jim Vedder

To the Editor:

Question:  What does the San Juan Island Library have in common with Island Rec, the Fire District, the School District and the Hospital District?

Answer:  They are all junior taxing districts. Every one of them is key to the vitality and health of our island community AND they are all dependent on property taxes to function successfully.  No junior taxing district can increase its annual tax revenue by more than one percent without a vote of the people. That is the law in Washington.  A one percent increase does not adequately fund maintenance and operations budgets that can pay salaries, make repairs and provide expected services.  This is a fact of life for the Library and all junior taxing districts.

The Library District has not asked for a tax increase since 2011.  It is now asking the voters for a tax levy lid lift, projected to last ten years, in an amount that will fund a five percent increase in its annual budget.  The money will only be spent on maintenance and operations.

Without this tax increase the Library simply will not be the island resource that the community has come to expect. Hours will need to be cut.  Programming for kids and adults will be cut.  Budgets for books and other resources will be cut.  The list goes on.  This community has always supported and loved our Library.  It should continue to do so now.

Vote YES for the Library’s levy lid lift!

Karen and Jim Vedder