In 2010 the voters of Clallam County approved an increase in the Library’s property tax levy rate, from 33 cents per $1,000 of assessed valuation to 50 cents per $1,000, to take effect in 2011. The assessed valuation of property in Clallam County in 2011 was just under $8 billion, so this means NOLS collected approximately $4 million in property taxes that year. In 2012 property values decreased to about $7.5 billion. Therefore, the Library collected $3,750,000 in 2012. State law allows library districts to collect up to 101% more than what was collected the previous year, provided there is a financial need, and as long as they don’t exceed the statutory limit of 50 cents per $1,000.
Here are a couple of examples to illustrate Washington’s complicated system for funding libraries and other junior taxing districts. Let’s say the Library’s current levy rate had been 45 cents per $1,000 in 2011. That means the Library would have collected $3.6 million in 2011. In 2012, in accordance with state law, the Library would be eligible to receive up to 101% of that $3.6 million, or $3,636,000, despite the fact that property values went down from 2011 to 2012. In order to collect that $3,636,000, the Library’s rate (i.e. the multiplier) would have been adjusted to 48.5 cents per $1,000. Now let’s apply this “what if” scenario to 2012’s actual numbers. The Library’s levy rate was 50 cents per $1,000 in 2011, and with a County-wide assessed valuation of $8 billion, NOLS collected $4 million in 2011. The assessed valuation of Clallam County was $7.5 billion in 2012. NOLS would be entitled to $4,040,000 in 2012, but the rate (i.e. the multiplier) would need to be 53.8 cents per $1,000, which exceeds the statutory limit of 50 cents.
If you’d like more information about property taxes and NOLS, please contact the Library Director at Director@nols.org or the Clallam County Assessor’s Office at 360.417.2400.