We’ve known since the results of the May Primary election that a new property tax levy to support the operations of the Jackson County Library system is on the horizon. Jackson County Commissioners, at a special Monday morning live televised meeting at the Courthouse Auditorium, officially cut the ties for library funding from the County General Fund, but also promised financial support to help the new District get to work as levied funds are still months away. The meeting is archived on the County website or you can view the file right now on the RVTV PEG Player.
The County is proposing to loan the new Library District 2.3 million dollars to cover staff and operating costs until monies from the property tax levy can be collected and distributed to the District. Over time, the District will use some of the property tax levy to pay back the County loan. The Library District can levy up to .60 cents per thousand. Estimates indicate that a .50 cents per thousand levy would cover the planned operating costs and cover loan payments back to Jackson County. Two library proponents spoke to Commissioners at the public hearing, one calling for an $800,000 “gift” to assist the District in getting started. Commissioners declined to open the County coffers further than the proposed loan, and cited a number of ways the Board and the County Staff helped bring the measure to the ballot and are working to assist the new District in transition.