|On November 7th, 2017 City of Houghton and Portage Township voters will be asked whether or not to continue supporting their library. The proposal would provide for a 7-year renewal of the 1.96 mill property tax that generates the majority of the library’s revenue. The proposal will not ask for any additional new millage. It merely continues a levy that has been in place for over 20 years.
What does the tax do?
This tax has created a dynamic library at the very center of the community. For the past 20 years, this tax has provided the stable funding necessary for the Portage lake District Library to deliver the services that the people of our community need and heavily use. Your investment has paid off, permitting us to build and maintain highly used collections, services, and programs. It’s time to renew this investment.
How important is the tax election to the Library?
The dedicated property tax supplies the revenue for everything the Portage Lake District Library accomplishes. It provides the funding for salaries, books and all materials in the collection, utilities, maintenance, and all operating costs. Without passage of the tax, there is not a library. There is no substitute funding.
What happens if the tax fails?
The Portage Lake District Library is almost entirely funded by the revenues of our 7-year dedicated property tax. The tax generates funding for over 85% of all expenses including our operating costs, materials, technology, and staffing as well as maintenance and repairs. Without a dedicated property tax to support the library, operations would have to be paid for out of savings, depleting all reserve funds. Eventually, if a millage can’t be set, there would be nothing left and the library would have to close.
How much will it cost?
1.96 mills for a period of 7 years will produce an estimated $460,000 per year to maintain the library’s services, programs, and operations. The rate of 1.96 mills will cost $1.96 per $1,000 of taxable property. The average cost per household in Portage Township is $64 a year, or $5.33 a month. The average cost per household in the City of Houghton is $97 per year, or $8.08 per month.