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City of Renton Issues Correction for Comparative Cost Analysis for Library Services

January 27, 2010

For more information contact:

Marty Wine, Assistant Chief Administrative Officer 425-430-6500
Preeti Shridhar, Communications Director 425-430-6569

Renton, WA: Recently questions were raised about the base amount of funding used by the city to determine the comparative costs for the Renton Library to stay independent or to consider annexing to the King County Library System (KCLS). Specifically, it was asked how the cost for current Renton operations (equivalent property tax) of 26 cents per $1,000 Assessed Valuation was derived. As a result, the city has revisited the financial assumptions and models used and has the following corrections to the numbers that were presented in the city’s Frequently Asked Questions document and utility billing insert.

The initial costs presented were based on the data gathered during the Library Master Planning process in 2008. The revised numbers reflect 2010 information.  These are presented below.

Library Services for Current and Future City of Renton Residents   
The original table comparing costs was presented as follows:

LIbrary Cost Correction

      “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.  “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 materials are not intended to support or oppose Proposition 1—only to provide factual information and offer an apples-to-apples comparison regarding the choices that voters will make.

There is a recognized need for library improvements in Renton. At the February 9, 2010, election voters will have the opportunity to decide whether to annex to receive the level of service provided by KCLS or to remain independent and make the strategic investments to fully fund the improvements recommended in Renton’s Library Master Plan. 

For more information on the Renton Library, please visit

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