Final unofficial results showed a no vote for the Pine River Library District’s request for a mill levy increase.
With 4,728 votes tallied, 2,369 voters said no, at 50.1 percent, and 2,359 said yes. That was 49.9 percent of the votes in the preliminary tally.
With declining property tax revenues, the Pine River Library District asked voters for an increase in the district’s mill levy from 2.5 mills to 4.5 mills.
Allowing Pine River Public Library District to increase mill levy
That would almost double the property tax revenue for the district, from $541,000 annually to $973,000 annually.
For a $300,000 home, a proposed tax increase would cost a property owner $54 a year, or $3.58 a month.
In 2018, the district is projecting an ending fund balance of $1.04 million, down from $1.5 million in 2015.
The district hasn’t asked for a mill levy increase since 1999. In July, Library Director Shelley Walchak and members of the library board made a “state of the library” presentation.
The board has used the district’s reserve fund to keep the budget balanced for the past three years but can’t continue that indefinitely, she explained.
The district has seven full-time staffers and eight part-time. Without the property tax increase, the district will have to make cuts in staffing, Walchak said.
The library district has about 9,500 residents in its boundaries, which are the same as the Bayfield School District, and includes Forest Lakes and Vallecito as well as Bayfield.
A volunteer campaign committee raised funds for yard signs and advertising urging a “yes” vote on 6A.