Enumclaw City Council hears tax proposal from Library Advisory Board

A new tax on Enumclaw property owners to support the public library has been recommended by the Library Advisory Board.

The small, volunteer group had opposed the city’s aborted plan to push a ballot item that would have turned library operations over to the independent King County Library System. That proposal fizzled and the Library Board was recently asked to offer a definitive, alternative recommendation.

Library Director Bob Baer read the board’s recommendation during the July 25 gathering of the Enumclaw City Council.

The board’s written statement said members have repeatedly heard the public’s desire to see library functions remain in local hands. To accomplish that, the board has recommended a levy lid lift that would allow citizens to vote on a measure that would generate another 40 cents in taxes for every $1,000 of assessed property value. That would create a pot of money figured at $421,000 annually, guaranteed for the library.

The board added its desire to see the city contribute $260,000 annually from the general fund, giving the library an annual operating budget of approximately $681,000. During a presentation to council earlier this year, City Administrator Mike Thomas said $389,000 was allocated for library operations as part of the 2011 municipal budget.

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