Voters in Medford should be able to decide whether they want to pay more property taxes to keep libraries from closing, the City Council decided Thursday.
"It absolutely should go before voters," Councilor Dan Bunn said.
The council unanimously voted to include Medford in a possible special district that would allow libraries to be operated independently from the county.
If voters approve, the district would tax Jackson County homeowners up to 60 cents per $1,000 of assessed value on their homes, or $120 a year on a $200,000 home.
The district would generate an estimated $9 million a year, enough to greatly increase library hours.
Jackson County commissioners Don Skundrick and Doug Breidenthal appealed to councilors to approve allowing city voters to decide. They've made similar pitches in other communities.
"I can't imagine a library district without the city of Medford," Skundrick said. "This is where the population is. This is where the economic vitality is."
— Damian Mann