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Renton corrects (lowers) library cost for property owners

The City of Renton has issued a correction about how much property owners are paying to support the city's library.

The library's current cost, found on the city's Web site, has been heavily used by those debating the Feb. 9 vote on whether to annex to the King County Library System.

The city initially indicated that property owners are paying about 26 cents for per $1,000 of the assessed value of their property annually, about $104 for a $400,000 home.

The correction lowers that number to $0.21 or about $84 annually.

"Costs are a moving target and just as we have seen changes in our calculation from 26 cents to 21 cents, next year's budget could bring additional changes to the numbers," said Mayor Denis Law in a press release. "The cost to Renton taxpayers for improved library services whether from remaining independent or annexing to the KCLS system is roughly the same, and the above corrections do not change that.”

The city regrets the error, and the information was not meant to support or oppose an annexation to KCLS, according to the release.

The initial cost estimate came from numbers presented in the 2008 Library Master Plan. The new estimates reflect 2010 information, according to the release.

The library's operations budget pulls its money from the city's general fund, which includes a mix of different taxes, including the property tax.

The city chose to represent the library's cost to residents with a property tax, because KCLS receives the majority of its funds from a library district levy.

KCLS is independent from King County.

Cost Correction for Library Cost Analysis 1-27-10

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