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Drag Queen Questions Putting A Drag On County Library Ballot Measure

Doug Nadvornick/SPR

Spokane County Library District officials hope controversies tied to Spokane city libraries don’t sink their property tax ballot measure on the primary election ballot.

The district is asking for permission to tax up to their maximum allowable rate, 50-cents-per-thousand dollars of assessed valuation. Over the years, that rate has fallen to 43-cents due to inflation and other factors. Officials say the district’s not experiencing a financial crisis, but in essence, the budget is shrinking as a result.

County library employees say patrons who are curious about the measure ask, either in person or via email, why the library system is sponsoring drag queen story hours. Or why the district wants to restrict access to homeless people.

Director Patrick Roewe says his employees have to explain those are issues related to the city library system, a separate entity.

“We certainly endeavor to serve folks of all the circumstances. The library is a welcoming place for everyone. We have expectations for behavior and conduct while you’re here, but some of the issues that the city library system is struggling with, we don’t quite see out here because we’re serving suburban and rural areas. So it’s a little different," Roewe said.

Ballots are due by Tuesday at 8 pm in ballot drop boxes or at the county auditor’s office or it must be postmarked, if mailed, by Tuesday.

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