The Hampshire County library levy has been providing funding to the Hampshire County libraries since it was passed in 1987. Levy funds typically consist of approximately 60% of each library’s budget, with the remaining 40% consisting of a combination of state funding, donations, and library revenue (fines, copy/fax fees, etc). Levy funds allow the libraries to purchase new books, maintain the library buildings, pay library staff, and provide programming to the Hampshire County community. Without these levy funds (or an alternate source of local funding), the Hampshire County public libraries will also lose their state funding and will no longer be able to function.
History of the Library Levy
On January 20, 1987 after the discontinuation of revenue sharing, a group of over 100 concerned citizens met with the Hampshire County Commissioners regarding funding for the two libraries in Hampshire County.
All participants at the meeting endorsed a “special levy” election, to be presented to the voters on March 21, 1987. This election proved to be a great success and made state-wide news by passing at a record 82%—the highest percentage for a special levy in the state.
By law, the levy must be renewed every five years and must be held with no cost to the taxpayers. In the past, the total cost of the levy elections have always been paid through donations raised by the Friends of the Library groups in Capon Bridge and Romney. This year however, the levy election will be held during the general election.