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Seattle City Council sends $219M library levy to ballot

(Photo via Seattle Municipal Archives)

Seattle City Council voted Monday to send a controversial $219 million library levy to the ballot in August.

RELATED: Part of new levy would eliminate overdue library fines
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The levy would replace the city’s expiring $123 million levy that lapses at the end of the year. Mayor Jenny Durkan announced plans back in March to use $8 million of the new levy to eliminate Seattle Public Library fines for late items.

The levy would also fund renovations and maintenance, and invest in library collections and technology services, among other needs.

City Council voted last week to tack on an additional $5.8 million, covering a measure to keep 26 library branches open for an extra hour between Monday and Thursday, developing a Community Resource Specialist program for connecting homeless library patrons with resources, and an expansion of the popular “Play and Learn” program.

“By renewing our shared investments in The Seattle Public Library, we can lift up the places where communities come together, open up doors to learning, and make Seattle a more equitable place to live,” Mayor Durkan said in a March news release.

The money would be collected through a seven-year, $213 million property-tax levy. It would cost a median value homeowner approximately $7 per month, according to the mayor’s office, $1.58 per month more than the current levy.

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