Its board on Tuesday approved requesting an eight-year, 2-mill tax increase.
CANTON About two months after voters rejected a levy request, the Stark County District Library is heading back to the ballot.
The library's board voted 6-0 Tuesday to ask the Stark County commissioners to place an eight-year, additional 2-mill levy to fund library operations on the May 7 ballot. Board President Steven Pittman was absent.
As long as the request meets all legal requirements, commissioners are required by law to put the issue before voters.
The new levy, if approved, would raise $11.21 million a year and the county would begin collecting it in 2020.
It would cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $74.12 a year, the library district says, an increase of about $26.50 over a current levy set to expire this year with last collections in 2020, according to the Stark County Auditor's office.
The library district has a current eight-year 1.7-mill levy, approved by voters in 2012, that annually raises $7.9 million that costs the owner of a $100,000 home $47.62 a year.
The levy voters rejected in November was slightly larger (2.2-mills) and would have generated about $11.02 million a year. But the millage did not reflect updated property appraisals in 2018 by the Stark County Auditor's office, which would increase the amount collected.
Last year, the library board pledged to repeal the older levy to prevent homeowners from having to pay for both levies at the same time. Its not clear if the board would do so this year, as the library's fiscal officer Chris Butler believed there was no overlap in collections.
Butler said the library can only ask for levies in increments of a tenth of a mill and a 1.9-mill levy would yield less than the desired $11 million.
"We're asking for this amount because this is the amount of money that we need to provide our services to the community. The (state) public library fund has been decreasing over the last 10 years, and we have rising costs and the funding has been decreasing," said Mary Ellen Icaza, the library's executive director.
When asked what the library would do to sell the levy to voter in 2019, she said the library would focus on informing the community the services and access to information the library provides.
Board members Joe French and Sally Efremoff will lead the campaign for the levy, which Efremoff says has about $10,000 left from last year's effort.
The Stark County Library District includes every school district in Stark County except the Massillon, Alliance, Marlington, North Canton, Louisville, Northwest and Minerva local school districts. Voters in those seven school districts would not vote on the levy in May.
Reach Repository writer Robert Wang at (330) 580-8327 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Twitter: @rwangREP.