2019 Ballot Question
The Eagle Valley Library District is the library for the entire county with the exceptions of the towns of Vail, Basalt, and El Jebel. It is funded primarily by residential property taxes. The ballot question 6A asks voters to approve or reject an adjustment to the operating levy to maintain the same amount of revenue that is currently generated by the Library District's 2.75 mill levy approved by voters in 1993. This means that the District will be exempt from the effects of future Gallagher residential property assessment rate declines. If voters pass the ballot measure, the Library District can maintain current levels of service and hours of operation in the towns of Avon, Eagle and Gypsum. This includes collections such as in-demand books, ebooks, audiobooks, and movies along with programs for all ages including storytimes, literacy and afterschool programs, computer classes, book clubs and more. If the ballot measure fails, Library District operating revenues will decline and services will erode over time. The District will eventually have to cut library services, hours of operation, staff, collections and programs for all ages.
Projected impact on library services if ballot measure 6A passes or fails
A Vote Yes on 6A Means
The District would be exempt from the effects of future Gallagher residential property assessment rate declines.
A Vote No on 6A Means
The Gallagher Amendment will continue to erode the District’s revenue for the foreseeable future.
|District can maintain current levels of library service, staffing and operating hours in the towns of Avon, Eagle and Gypsum||Library hours of operation, staffing and services in Avon, Eagle and Gypsum will decrease over time as the budget revenue erodes|
|Eagle Valley Libraries can continue to provide programs for kids and teens that help them read, learn to think, and be entertained in a positive, productive way||Programs such as storytimes, after school STEAM programs for elementary school students, teen programs will be reduced over time|
|Eagle Valley Libraries can continue to provide educational and entertaining programs for adults||All programs for adults such as financial literacy classes, career development class, job fairs, Books in Bloom, book clubs, craft nights and guest speakers and musicians will be reduced|
|Can maintain purchasing levels of in-demand books, classic books, audio books, movies and other physical materials for the public to borrow for free||Purchasing of books, movies, audio books and other physical materials will eventually be reduced resulting in fewer copies of bestsellers and fewer items to choose from in all collections|
|Can maintain purchasing levels of digital resources such as, e-books, e-audio books that can be downloaded for free on a smart phone or electronic reading device||E-materials and services such as e-books, e-audiobooks through Overdrive will eventually be reduced|
|Can maintain purchasing levels of digital databases for research, homework help, and entertainment||Digital resources will be scaled back affecting items such as RBDigital (e-magazines, Acorn TV, Great Courses and Pongalo), Freegal (e-music), Tumblebook and Mango Languages|
|Eagle Valley Libraries can continue to provide computer and wi-fi access for free and evolve with new technology||Upgrading technology such as computers and Wi-Fi will be infrequent|
|Continue to provide outreach services to older adults, preschools, and other community organizations||Outreach services to older adults, preschools, schools, business community and other community organizations will be cut back or eliminated|
|Continue to provide Bilingual and ESL literacy programs||Bilingual and ESL literacy programs will be reduced|
|Continue to provide computer classes and one-on-one computer and mobile device assistance||Special services such as test proctoring, one-on-one technology assistance will be reduced or eliminated|
What is the Library District proposing?
The Eagle Valley Library District is asking voters for “Gallagher Stabilization” - the ability to adjust the 2.75 mill levy rate to maintain current funding if the property assessment rate decrease under the Gallagher Amendment.
6A Ballot Language:
SHALL EAGLE COUNTY BE AUTHORIZED TO ADJUST THE EAGLE VALLEY LIBRARY DISTRICT’S OPERATING MILL LEVY RATE OF 2.75 MILLS BEGINNING IN TAX COLLECTION YEAR 2020 AND ANNUALLY THEREAFTER TO ALLOW THE DISTRICT TO RETAIN PROPERTY TAX REVENUES WHICH WOULD OTHERWISE BE LOST AS A RESULT OF ADJUSTMENTS MADE TO THE RESIDENTIAL ASSESSMENT RATIO BY THE COLORADO CONSTITUTIONAL PROVISION KNOWN AS THE GALLAGHER AMENDMENT WITH SUCH REVENUES TO BE USED TO CONTINUE TO PAY FOR THE LIBRARY’S GENERAL OPERATIONS AND CAPITAL EXPENSES RELATED TO LIBRARY SERVICES, SUCH AS:
- FULL-SERVICE LIBRARIES IN THE TOWNS OF AVON, EAGLE AND GYPSUM INCLUDING A WIDE VARIETY OF CURRENT AND IN-DEMAND BOOKS, AUDIOS AND DVDS;
- STORYTIME FOR INFANTS, TODDLERS AND PRESCHOOLERS, READING BUDDIES SUMMER READING PROGRAM, AND OTHER CHILDREN’S PROGRAMS;
- TEEN NIGHTS, CREATIVE TEEN WRITING CLUB AND OTHER TEEN PROGRAMS;
- BOOK CLUBS, LITERACY PROGRAMS, BILINGUAL OR ESL PROGRAMS, COMPUTER CLASSES, AND SUMMER READING FOR ADULTS;
- ACCESS TO COMPUTERS, INTERNET, SOFTWARE AND TECHNOLOGY;
- RESEARCH DATABASES INCLUDING DIGITAL VERSIONS OF NEWSPAPERS, MAGAZINES, BOOKS AND ENCYCLOPEDIAS;
- EAGLE COUNTY LOCAL HISTORY AND DIGITAL ARCHIVE COLLECTION;
- CONTINUE TO BE A COMMUNITY GATHERING SPACE, OPEN TO EVERYONE AT NO CHARGE;
AND SHALL THE REVENUES FROM SUCH MILL LEVY BE COLLECTED, RETAINED AND SPENT NOTWITHSTANDING ANY REVENUE LIMITS PROVIDED BY LAW?
Who can vote on this ballot question?
Registered voters in the Eagle Valley Library District will receive a mail ballot for this Election in mid-October from the Eagle County Clerk of Elections. Ballots are due to be returned by Election Day, Tuesday November 5, 2019 at 7:00PM. The ballot issued will only contain those questions on which you are eligible to vote based on your place of residence listed on your voter registration. If you do not receive a ballot, want to find a ballot drop-off location, or have other questions about this election, please contact the Eagle County Clerk at 970-328-8715 or at email@example.com or via their webpage.
Why is the Library District proposing to be exempt from future Gallagher property tax assessment rate declines?
Property tax assessment rate declines per the Gallagher Amendment will continue to erode District revenue for the foreseeable future. This erosion will have an adverse impact on the hours of operation, services, programs, materials and staffing at all three libraries (Avon, Eagle and Gypsum). The District is proposing an exemption from the impact of the Gallagher Amendment to maintain existing services for Eagle Valley Libraries.
How will it affect my property tax bill?
Currently, your residential property is assessed at 7.15% and the District’s operating mil levy approved by voters in 1993 is 2.75 mills. The Eagle Valley Library District is asking voters for “Gallagher Stabilization” - the ability to adjust the 2.75 mill levy rate to maintain current funding if the property assessment rate decrease under the Gallagher Amendment.
- If the measure passes, your residential property will be assessed per the Gallagher Amendment (projected to decrease to 6.41%). The Library District’s operating mill levy would be adjusted to allow the District to maintain current funding. Your tax bill will not reflect the Gallagher rate reduction.
- If the measure fails, your residential property is still assessed per the Gallagher Amendment. If there is a decrease in the residential assessment rate, it would be reflected in your tax bill.
How has the District been affected by the Gallagher Amendment?
Over the past three years the Eagle Valley Library District’s revenues have been reduced by $1 million dollars due to property tax assessment rate declines per the Gallagher Amendment.
What has the Library done to reduce expenses and cut costs?
Eagle Valley Library District has realized savings that have helped to avoid cuts to direct services to library users by:
- Developing and implementing a purchasing policy requiring cost comparisons for purchases and vendor bidding for large ticket items
- Applying for State Grants
- Switching to a more affordable healthcare provider that offers group pricing for government entities
- Elimination of Assistant Director position as a part of a restructuring of the organization to more effectively meet service needs
- Obtaining Internet services from a provider that offers significantly better rates
- Applying for federal funding discounts for Internet services (e-rate)
- Changing replacement schedule for all computers to 4 years instead of 3
The Library Board of Trustees, in consultation with its financial advisors, has determined that the level of reductions has reached the point at which Gallagher stabilization needs to be considered by the voters before further reductions in services will have to be implemented.
What is the Gallagher Amendment?
The Gallagher Amendment was an amendment to the Colorado Constitution enacted in 1982 concerning property tax. It set forth requirements in the Colorado Constitution for determining the actual value of property and the assessment rate. It was designed to maintain a constant ratio between the property tax revenue that comes from residential property (45%) and from business property (55%). Further, the Amendment mandates that the assessment rate for commercial property, which is responsible for 55% of the total state property tax burden, be fixed at 29%. The residential rate, on the other hand, is annually adjusted to hold the 45/55 split constant.
Why is the Gallagher Amendment impacting the District?
The Eagle Valley Library District is funded primarily by residential property taxes. The Gallagher Amendment is a statewide calculation and the residential building boom along the Front Range is triggering the Amendment’s assessment rate decline. Rural and mountain communities haven’t seen residential growth like the Front Range nor do our communities have enough nonresidential property to offset the lower residential tax rate. The assessment rate decline erodes the District’s operating revenue.
What will happen if property values decline?
If local property values decline – as they did during the Great Recession – the Library District operating revenues will decrease to reflect the new assessment of property values. The ballot question only addresses the effects of the Gallagher Amendment (maintenance of the ratio between commercial and residential property taxes) not the economic impacts of a downturn.
What happens if the ballot measure passes?
If voters pass the ballot measure, the District can maintain current levels of service and hours of operation in the towns of Avon, Eagle and Gypsum; collections such as in-demand books, ebooks, audiobooks, movies, etc; and programs for all ages including storytimes, literacy and afterschool programs, computer classes, book clubs and more.
What happens if the ballot measure fails?
If the ballot measure fails, District operating revenues will decline and continue to erode over time. The District will eventually have to cut services, hours of operation, collections, programs for all ages and staff.
Do people still use the library?
Yes! In 2018, Eagle Valley Libraries had 315,995 visitors to the libraries, 27,020 active cardholders and 29, 349 people attended our programs.