Library board approves reduced levy for November

West Side Library in Youngstown, Ohio

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) — Taxpayers in Mahoning County could see a reduction on their property taxes next year thanks to the Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County.

On Thursday, library trustees voted to place a five-year levy on the November ballot that is less than the combined levies currently being collected and will reduce the cost to taxpayers by about 11 percent. That is the equivalent of $20 annually per $100,000 of property tax value.

The levy request still must be approved by Mahoning County Commissioners.

The Public Library of Youngstown and Mahoning County currently has two levies in effect: a 1-mill levy and a 1.8-mill levy. The Library Board voted to combine these into one ballot issue that is less than the two current issues, with a 1.8-mill renewal plus an additional .06-mill. The current 1-mill levy will be allowed to expire.

The two current library levies amount to about 58 percent of the library’s receipts. The state’s PLF (Public Library Fund) amounts to about 40 percent of receipts. The remainder comes from sources such as fines and fees, plus private donations.

Also at Thursday’s meeting, library executive director Heidi Daniel distributed a draft of the new MyLibrary 2020 strategic plan for review, but no action was taken.

The relocation of the West Library from Mahoning Avenue to Mill Creek Park was not voted on, but the board authorized Daniel to move forward with further discussions with Mill Creek Park concerning locating the West Library at the Wick Recreation Area.

They also asked Daniel to explore the feasibility of a tech center on the current Mahoning Avenue property because library computers and Internet access are the most used features of the current West Library.

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