Jackson County Voters To Decide On Library District

Feb 13, 2014

The fate of the Jackson County library will go before voters in May.

The Main Library in Medford.
Credit Oregon Historical County Records Guide

If passed, the proposal for a special tax district would create a property tax up to 60 cents per $1,000 of assessed property value.

A board of directors separate from the County Commissioners would run the district.

The county libraries have had troubled funding for several years, leading to a closure in 2007.  As timber revenues have declined, Jackson County has had less money to operate crucial services, including the library.

During April 2013 budget hearings, county officials said that 14 of the 15 library branches — all but Medford's — would close during the 2014-15 fiscal year unless alternative funding sources could be found. The Medford library would close in 2015-16 if that continued. Library supporters came up with the district as a possibility. The board said they could have imposed a fee to fund the libraries, but wanted to let Jackson County voters decide instead.