Grandview voters: When you go to the polls May 4, you'll find you're being squeezed between a rock and a hard place.

Grandview voters: When you go to the polls May 4, you'll find you're being squeezed between a rock and a hard place.

The rock would be a hike in your taxes. The hard place would be Grandview without the level of services residents currently enjoy.

Both your city and your library are asking for an increase in taxes, and they're both making the same promise. If their issues pass, they will continue operations as they are today at a reduced level, but without further cuts. If the issues fail, further reductions will have to be made and they will be felt.

The city is asking residents to increase the local income tax from the current 2.25 percent (scheduled to revert back to 2 percent the first of next year) to 2.5 percent. The library is asking voters to approve replacing a property tax levy first passed in 1986 as a continuing 2.2-mill levy. Over the years the value of that levy has reduced to .61 mills, and voters are being asked to replace it with a levy that will again be collected at the 2.2-mill rate.

The city and library have similar stories to tell. The financial difficulties faced by both are a direct result of the economic crunch the nation is still experiencing. The ailing economy has reduced the number of people paying income taxes in Grandview, and the failure of the economy at the state level has taken a huge bite out of the library's biggest source of funding.

Again, similarly, both have responded by making cuts in their spending. They've both reduced staff, largely but not entirely through attrition, and both have curtailed spending where they believed they could afford to. Programming has been reduced both by the city and the library. Capital needs such as street and/or building repair and replacement of equipment such as vehicles and/or aging technology have gone unmet.

Passage of these issues Issue 5 is the library levy, Issue 19 is the income tax increase doesn't mean the return of the good old days. For the most part, it means only that things shouldn't get worse in terms of the level of services you receive.

Voters should note the impact of the cost of these taxes.

The library levy, if successful, will cost about $77.44 a year for each $100,000 of home value. That's about a buck-and-a-half a month more than the levy it would replace.

The cost of the income tax will vary depending on where you work. People who live elsewhere and work in Grandview will pay the full 2.5 percent to Grandview. People who live in Grandview and work in Columbus, where the 2.5 percent tax is already in effect, won't see any difference. People who live and work in Grandview will see the rate go from 2.25 to 2.5; the cost to a household making $50,000 a year would be an additional $125 annually.

The city and library have shown themselves to be excellent stewards of your tax dollars. In both cases, staff have taken on extra work to continue to deliver the service residents expect with fewer people available to get the job done. Logically, there's got to be a limit to how long that can go on.

The city and library have supported residents and continued to meet residents' expectations during a tough time. Now it's the voters' turn. ThisWeek urges yes votes on Issues 5 and 19.