The West Richland Branch of Mid-Columbia Libraries has been funded with a 2.5 percent utility tax on telephone, electric and gas bills since 2003. The revenue generated from these taxes has declined significantly in recent years, as almost 25 percent of residents have canceled landlines, built more energy-efficient homes and reduced electric consumption in back-to-back warm winters. The city’s current projection shows that the library fund will be depleted by spring of 2017.
The West Richland City Council passed a resolution to place a proposition on the November ballot to replace the 2.5 percent utility tax with a property tax levy lid lift of $0.45 per $1,000 of assessed value. The city’s website has an online calculator for residents to compare their current utility tax rate versus the property tax levy lid lift.
If this levy lid lift does not pass, the city will have to substantially reduce library service and will no longer be able to afford the contract with Mid-Columbia Libraries. This would obviously be a great loss to our community.
Please join me in approving Proposition 16-10 to keep the great resources of Mid-Columbia Libraries in West Richland.
Kayla Nield, West Richland