MAHONING COUNTY 1-mill library levy to be on Nov. ballot

The proposed levy will keep the library at current operating standards.
BOARDMAN -- Mahoning County Library trustees voted Thursday to put a 1-mill replacement levy on the November ballot.
The five-year levy would be used for general operations, said Janet Loew, Mahoning County Library public relations director.
"The entire Mahoning County library system will benefit from the levy," Loew said.
The current levy will expire at the end of the 2005 tax year. The library placed the original 0.6-mill levy on the ballot in 1976. The 2005 levy is a replacement of the 0.6-mill levy, and includes an increase of 0.4 mill.
One mill amounts to 10 cents for each $100 of valuation. Valuation is roughly 33 percent of a home's market value, Loew said.
Trustee Ralph Beard said the proposed levy will be based on current property valuation and outlined the time frame for its implementation.
"If passed, the collection will start in tax year 2005 and we will collect it in calendar year 2006," he said. "The state has cut our funding since 2001. This levy will offset the loss."
Staying afloat
Loew said the state cuts about $940,000 per year in funding. "Most county libraries are struggling," she said.
Loew said the Mahoning library system has initiatives, such as Library 2011, to improve the region's system.
"Library 2011 will focus on accommodating our shifting populations, open-hour policies and demographic concerns," she said.
Library Director Carlton Sears said the library estimates that the levy, if passed, could raise $3.4 million.
"We gave the auditor, George Tablack, our estimate," Sears said. "We're waiting for him to validate it."

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