October 25, 2011


John A. Charles, Jr.
President & CEO
Cascade Policy Institute
Office Phone: 503-242-0900
Cell Phone: 503-459-3727

Cascade Policy Institute Releases Report on Stabilizing Multnomah County Library Funding

Portland, OR – When Jackson County, Oregon faced millions of dollars in budget shortfalls in 2006, the county eliminated funding for public libraries and closed them. Shortly afterward, the county decided to reopen the libraries―accepting competitive bids for operations. The winning bid―by a Maryland-based firm―saved Jackson County several million dollars per year.

Now Multnomah County Library is at a crossroads in the way its future revenue will be generated. The County Commission is considering the formation of a library tax district. This would make the library an independent taxing entity.

However, a library tax district is not the only way to stabilize the budget. Cascade Policy Institute’s new report, Checking Out the Options: Creating stable funding and superior service at the Multnomah County Library, by Christopher Robinson, presents several ideas for funding libraries without raising taxes.

Other options include contracting out library operations as Jackson County did or generating revenue through small user fees rather than generalized taxation. Additionally, Multnomah County could reduce the operations cost to bring the system in line with comparable cities such as Denver and Seattle.

Click here to download the full report.


About Cascade Policy Institute

Founded in 1991, Cascade Policy Institute is Oregon’s premier policy research center. Cascade’s mission is to explore and promote public policy alternatives that foster individual liberty, personal responsibility and economic opportunity. To that end, the Institute publishes policy studies, provides public speakers, organizes community forums and sponsors educational programs.

For more information or to schedule an interview, contact John A. Charles, Jr. at 503-459-3727 or


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