Measure N seeks to add a $25 property tax per parcel to support operation of the Dunsmuir public library. Passage requires a two-thirds majority vote.

Later this year, Dunsmuir voters will decide whether to levy a tax upon themselves or their landlords.

Measure N seeks to add a $25 property tax per parcel to support operation of the Dunsmuir public library. Passage requires a two-thirds majority vote.

The Siskiyou County Clerk cleared the measure for the ballot two weeks ago, according to library supporter Tim Holt. “It’s not a permanent tax,” he said. “It sunsets in 10 years.”

Holt is one of six core residents who strategized ways to fund the library. The others are Candace Miller, Ann Powers, Lee Chan, Rita Green, and Kathy Wallace.

Holt presented the idea for a parcel tax to support the library to the city council late last year. He guided the drafting of the measure, and argued for its amount.

“In a telephone survey of 85 Dunsmuir property owners conducted by our library support committee, 61 percent said that they would vote for a $30-per-year parcel tax dedicated to the library,” Holt announced from the podium at the Nov. 17 city council meeting. “An additional 18 percent said they were leaning in favor of the proposal, and this is before any get-out-the-vote campaign has even started.”

After discussions about the parcel tax amount, the council passed a resolution asking the county clerk to place a $25 measure on the June primary ballot.

Earlier this month, Holt thanked the council for passing a resolution asking the county clerk to place the measure on the June primary ballot. He said they requested June so that, if the measure passes, the tax will provide funding starting at the beginning of 2013. If it went on the November ballot and passed, the library wouldn't see any of the money until the beginning of 2014.

The impartial analysis for the measure was written by city attorney John Kenny. It reads in full, “This measure is intended to provide an annual source of funding for the Dunsmuir Public Library. If this measure is passed by a two-thirds vote, the city will assess a $25 per year special tax on each property owner owning property within the city, as shown on the last county assessment rolls.

“The tax will be collected in the same manner as taxes on real property. The tax will commence in the 2012 fiscal year and terminate in the 2022 fiscal year. Any increase in assessment would require a new vote of the registered voters within the city.”

Said Dunsmuir librarian Karen O’Quinn, “It’ll be a long-term solution for keeping the library open. And we’ll be able to expand our services.” She said those services would include extending open hours, increasing the stock of books, and organizing library events and programs.