By 1812Blockhouse

The Mansfield/Richland County Public Library has a 3.9 mill renewal levy on the May 2 Primary Election ballot. The Library recently shared information about that request, what that money has funded and continues to fund, and what will happen if the renewal levy is not approved by voters.

The 3.9 mill renewal levy is identical to the one approved in 2013 and does not constitute a new tax. Election Day falls on Tuesday, May 2, with early in-person and mail-in absentee voting options available. The renewal levy will amount to an annual cost of $117.84 per $100,000 in home valuation to maintain current library services.

Given that a hardcover book typically costs around $28, a library cardholder who reads one book per month can save over $300 annually. Many cardholders also check out DVDs, power tools, board games, and more, increasing their savings. Use this online calculator to see your savings. Calculate the annual cost of the proposed tax levy with the Richland County Auditor’s Tax Calculator.

To sustain the Library’s success and maintain its service level amid rising costs for utilities, supplies, and staffing, a levy renewal is essential. The Library supports local communities by providing innovative programming, accommodating operating hours, maintaining the essential First Call 2-1-1 line, enhancing access to materials and digital resources, engaging in outreach initiatives and community events, and promoting literacy in reading and digital skills.

Local levies contribute 61% of the Library’s revenue, with 36% from the State of Ohio’s Public Library Fund, and the remaining 3% from interest earnings, fees, and donations. If the levy fails to pass, the Library will face a $7 million annual budget cut, which could result in reduced programming, shorter operating hours, potential closure of some locations, and staff layoffs and reductions.

Voting information for Richland Countians, including early voting hours, can be accessed here.

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