Hudson Library will seek renewal of 2.9-mill levy in May 2021

Tax issue was last passed in 2016

Phil Keren
Kent Weeklies
Artist and library patron Nancy Gregg, of Stow, checks out several books from the circulation desk at the Hudson Library & Historical Society.The library will seek renewal of a 2.9-mill levy in May 2021.

HUDSON — The free public library of the Hudson Library and Historical Society will ask voters to renew a 2.9-mill levy next year.

City Council on Sept. 15 unanimously approved sending the library's levy renewal request to the Summit County Board of Elections for placement on the May 5, 2021 election ballot. Library officials are seeking renewal of the tax issue for five more years.

The library does not have the legal authority to place the issue on the ballot and the organization's leaders requested that council do so on their behalf, according to the legislative memo on council's agenda. City spokesperson Jody Roberts said council has taken this same action with past library levy requests.

The levy generates about $2.6 million annually and makes up about 66% of the library's operating revenue, according to E. Leslie Polott, executive director and curator of the library and historical society.

"The library levy pays for our operating expenses, including staffing, supplies, utilities, facility maintenance as well as programming and collection development," said Polott.

If it's not renewed sometime in 2021, the levy will expire at the end of that year. If the levy is not renewed in May 2021, Polott said officials would request that the issue be placed on the November 2021 ballot.

This is the only property tax levy that the library has on its books.

Levy history

A five-year, 0.5-mill levy was first approved by voters in November 1993. Since then, a levy with a steadily increasing millage amount has been approved five times. The 1993 levy was replaced by voters in November 1997 for five more years. The 0.5-mill levy was replaced again and a 0.5-mill increase was also approved for five years in November 2002. The 1.0-mill levy was replaced and a 0.6-mill increase was approved for five years in May 2006. The 1.6-mill levy was replaced and a 0.7-mill increase was approved for five years in May 2011. Voters renewed a 2.3-mill levy and also approved a 0.6-mill increase in March 2016.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at pkeren@recordpub.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.