Portage County District Library levy fails to pass


Issue 15

Alicia Balog

The Portage County District Library’s proposed tax levy, Issue 15, failed with 56.89 percent of votes against the levy at 11 p.m. Tuesday.

“(The levy’s failure) means we just maintain where we are and have to deal with the continued uncertainty of state funding,” said Cecilia Swanson, director of the Portage County District Library.

Now that the levy has failed, the library will continue to operate at its budget, which is about the same amount of money the library received in 1996, due to cuts in state funding.

“I always say we’re trying to provide 21st century services with 20th century dollars,” Swanson said before the election.

She said the library will just need to work a little harder to get its message out in future elections.

“Our supporters should be assured that we’re going to do the best we can,” Swanson said, explaining that the library’s Board of Trustees will probably consider proposing another levy in the future to help improve library services.

If the levy had passed, the library would have use the money raised from the 1-mill, 10-year tax levy to increase hours and provide more materials at its outreach program and its five branches in Aurora, Garrettsville, Randolph, Streetsboro and Windham.

A 1-mill levy “amounts to $0.10 for each one hundred dollars of valuations, for 10 years,” according to the levy’s Notice of Election on the Portage County Board of Elections website.

So the tax levy would have cost the owner of a $100,000 home about $35 a year, or $3 a month, and would have given the library about $2.4 million per year.

The tax would have affected only those eligible to vote on it, or the residents of Portage County excluding those in the Kent and Ravenna school districts, which have their own public libraries.

Contact Alicia Balog at [email protected].