(Posted Oct. 6, 2023)
By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor
Hurt-Battelle Memorial Library in West Jefferson is asking voters to renew a 1.5-mill property tax for current expenses for five years. The issue will appear on the Nov. 7 general election ballot.
This is the same tax levy the library has had on the books since 2009. Voters have renewed it multiple times over the years. It represents no new taxes.
“We did a five-year projection of our budget, with the levy staying the same and money from the state staying flat. We believe we can stay in the black with prudent management of our funds without asking taxpayers for more money,” said library Director Chris Siscoe.
The levy generates an estimated $321,000 per year and costs the taxpayer $41 per year per $100,000 of property valuation.
“This levy accounts for about half of our income each year,” Siscoe said. “We would not be able to stay open as many hours and provide the materials and programs that we do without it.”
After the levy was last renewed five years ago, the library was able to join the Serving Every Ohioan Library Consortium, giving local library card holders access to millions of items from more than 90 library systems across the state.
“We also have expanded materials available through the Ohio Digital Library. We offer Hoopla (access to library materials in electronic form), Kanopy (a movie streaming service), and have expanded our programming, especially in STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math),” Siscoe said.
The levy helps to fund other ongoing services, including computers with Internet access, wi-fi for personal devices, programs for all ages, meeting rooms, online reference databases, proctoring and notary services, printing, faxing, and laminating services, and the purchase of new materials.