Multnomah County Commissioners will vote tomorrow morning whether to place a $65 million library taxing district on the November ballot. This week's WW cover story examines how that district could squeeze other government funding, and asks how the library is using the money it has now.
A good bellwether of the county's decision is a survey it has been conducting for the past month, asking more than 20,000 residents if they want a district on the fall ballot.
They do. Survey results released today show 61 percent of people surveyed want a library taxing district.
But the survey also gives county commissioners some reason for pause. Only 49 percent of those polled say the county should put the library taxing district on the ballot this fall.
Another 38 percent say they want the county to wait until 2014, when the library's current levy runs out.
That makes reading the tea leaves tough.
Commissioners balked at putting a permanent taxing district on the May ballot, and might delay again if they think public support isn't there after all library branches began closing Mondays last month.
But they also might decide to pull the trigger on the ballot measure because waiting until 2014 means taking the same risk as last May: If voters say no, and there's no temporary levy, the library loses its main funding source.