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The measure will pass by a large number of votes with 99 percent counted.
A Nov. 5 special election will decide if Lincoln County libraries will continue to provide fee-free services to unincorporated areas of Lincoln County.
Libraries in Lincoln City, Newport, Siletz, Toledo and Waldport are affected by Measure 21-197, Local Option Tax for Library Services.
Voters living outside city limits of Lincoln City, Newport, Toledo and Yachats should have received ballots by mail and will determine if the five-year local option tax will continue.
In 1991, city libraries began contracting with the Lincoln County Library District to offer fee-free library services for county residents who were paying for a library card. The continuation of these services was renewed by voters in 2014.
The library services include:
- Books, videos, DVDs, eBooks and other materials.
- Summer reading programs for children.
- Internet access.
- Library programming.
- Inter-library loan services.
- Courier service which brings materials requested from other libraries to local libraries.
The tax of nine cents per $1,000 assessed value for five years, beginning in 2020, would raise approximately $400,000 each year for Lincoln County libraries.
If the tax does not pass, libraries could lose the following funding per year:
- Lincoln City – $61,805
- Newport – $91,472
- Siletz – $19,777
- Toledo – $29,666
- Waldport – $46,972
Ballots must be received at a designated drop site by 8 p.m. Nov. 5.
From the Lincoln County Voters’ Pamphlet:
Before the formation of the Lincoln County Library District, people living in unincorporated areas of Lincoln County and Depoe Bay did not have access to a public library without paying for a library card.
In 1991 the city libraries of Lincoln City, Newport, Siletz, Toledo and Waldport began contracting with the Library District to receive funds for providing fee free library service to all residents of Lincoln County.
In order to continue this service, voters in 2014 renewed a local option tax levy at 9¢ per $1000 assessed value which expires in 2020-2021. Approval of this measure will renew the levy for another five years and allow the fee free service to continue.