On March 17, 2020, Southwest Public Libraries is seeking the renewal of a historic 10-year, 1-mill levy passed by voters in November 2010.
Issue 20 is a straight renewal with no tax increase.
SPL is seeking the renewal to continue operation of public services and programming at Grove City Library and Westland Area Library. Combined, these libraries serve a population of over 130,000 people, offering free access to a multitude of resources, including early literacy initiatives, adult learning opportunities, modern meeting spaces, and millions of digital and physical materials.
The levy is a critical source of funding for the library. SPL currently operates through funding from two primary sources, the 1-mill levy and the Public Library Fund (PLF) from the state of Ohio. In 2018 the levy provided approximately 37% of SPL’s budget and the PLF approximately 56%.
The current levy—the first passed in SPL history—is set to expire at the end of 2020 and made up for cuts in state funding, enabling the library to restore full operating hours and services and purchase new materials. Issue 20 will renew the levy for another 10 years.
Patrons can visit vote411.org for a nonpartisan voter guide to the March 17 elections or to check polling locations, view a sample ballot, and more.
Below are some frequently asked questions regarding Issue 20. Southwest Public Libraries looks forward to continuing to serve the community.
Q: What is Issue 20?
A: Issue 20 is a renewal of the 1-mill SPL levy passed by voters in November, 2010.
Q: What is the duration of the renewal levy?
A: 10 years.
Q: Will my taxes increase if the Issue 20 renewal is passed?
A: No. Issue 20 is a straight renewal with no tax increase.
Q: When does voting on Issue 20 occur?
A: March 17, 2020.
Q: Who can vote on Issue 20?
A: Registered voters within the South-Western City School District who are aged 18 and older.
Q: How can I register to vote?
A: You can register online at the Ohio Secretary of State website or in person at the library. In order to be eligible to vote in the March primary, register by February 18, 2020.
Q: What has the library done to improve service since the passage of the 2010 levy?
A: Westland Area Library has been expanded to include new meeting space for the public as well as a larger, more interactive Youth Services Area. A new Grove City Library was built and opened in 2016 in a partnership with the City of Grove City.
Q: What will the renewal of the levy be used for?
A: To continue public services and programming at the library’s two locations: Westland Area Library on 4740 West Broad Street and Grove City Library on 3959 Broadway in Grove City.
Q: How important is the renewal levy to the library?
A: The 1-mill levy provides around 37% of the library’s operating income, so it is extremely important. The Public Library Fund from the State of Ohio provides most of the rest of the library’s income.
Q: How much will the 1-mill renewal cost a homeowner?
A: The owner of a home appraised at $100,000 would pay $30.63 annually or $2.55 per month. Senior citizens eligible for the Homestead Exemption would pay less.