Darrington asks voters to approve library tax

DARRINGTON — The future of the Darrington Library could be decided with the May 20 election asking town voters to annex into the Sno-Isle Libraries system and pay a direct tax for the library.

If annexation is approved, town residents would join their neighbors in unincorporated Darrington in paying a property tax to fund library operations. The current library levy is about 31 cents per $1,000 of assessed value. So the owner of a $100,000 home would pay about $31 a year for the library.

Currently, the town of Darrington contracts with Sno-Isle Libraries to provide services for its library. In 2007, the town paid more than $25,000 from its general fund for staff, materials and other operating costs. The annual fee, combined with property tax dollars from those who live outside the town limits, pays for operating the Darrington Library.

Annexation would mean the town could use the money it spends for library services on much-needed street repair and park development instead, said town clerk-treasurer Lyla Boyd.

However, if voters reject the annexation and the direct tax, the town will continue to pay the library contract for as long as it can, Boyd said.

“If the annexation doesn’t pass, we will see substantial increases in the annual library fee,” Boyd said.

Annextion ensures long-term stable library services that are not affected by changes in the town’s budget, Sno-Isle spokeswoman Mary Kelly said.

The town is committed to paying its library contract fee for as long as possible, but realistically, there may come a time when it is simply no longer affordable, given other demands on the town budget, Kelly said.

Boyd said she is optimistic about the outcome of the May 20 vote and said she has heard of no opposition to the measure.

Reporter Gale Fiege, 425-339-3427 or gfiege@heraldnet.com.

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