Library district braces for new cutbacks

first_imgAs Southwest Washington property values continue to tank, Fort Vancouver Regional Library District leaders are poised to adopt $1.25 million in spending cutbacks in the system’s 2012-13 budget.District officials are preparing to lay off employees at library branches and the district headquarters, scale back professional services and capital improvements and permanently retire the Clark County Bookmobile.What they won’t do: Trim library branch service days or hours, just months after they were restored with aid of a property tax levy lid lift approved by voters last year.That tax measure followed a round of service reductions made in early 2009.Anticipated property tax revenue in the four-county district — which supplies about 95 percent of library funding — is just shy of $21 million for the 2011-12 budget cycle.For the 2012-13 cycle, estimated property tax revenue is $19.1 million: a decline of about 9 percent.Falling property values have pushed the library tax rate to its maximum 50 cents per $1,000 limit allowed by Washington state law.Any further drop in total assessed property directly slices FVRL’s property tax funding (unlike locally approved school operating levies, where tax rates are not capped).last_img

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