Community

Voters approve library levy lid lift / Special Election

Voters in King County and the Bothell section of Snohomish County officially have approved a levy lid lift to benefit the King County Library System (KCLS).

Combined numbers from both counties show the total margin of victory was 126,403 votes in favor to 115,763 tallies against.

Election officials validated the results of the Feb. 9 special election as of Feb. 24.

In King, the winning numbers equaled an approval rate of 52 to 47.9 percent, for and against. In Snohomish, the numbers translated to 59.7 percent for; 40.2 percent, against.

Prior to the all-mail election, a library spokesperson said KCLS officials would need to make "across the board cuts" of 10 to 15 percent in 2011 if the lid lift failed.

Community relations and marketing director for the library, Julie Brand said the cuts would have limited dollars spent on new books, technology and building maintenance. She added library hours of operation and staffing would have faced the budget axe in coming years.

What voters approved is an increase in the property tax levy rate benefitting KCLS, moving that rate to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation.

Brand said for a home valued at $400,000, that amounts to about $200 annually, up from about $168 annually.

Voters last approved a lid lift for the library system in 2002.

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