Lib Politics Rodeo April 14, 2014
Mayor Carlos Gimenez of Miami-Dade county is considering raising taxes to fund libraries if voters support the idea with a straw poll this summer. This is after he championed a tax cut in 2011 that has drastically reduced the funding for libraries.
Welcome to the Lib Politics Rodeo.
Every Monday we will round up the previous week’s news on library politics and highlight some of the things that we are following or reading. Here’s what we have in our lassos this week…
Big Big News
Mayor Carlos Gimenez of Miami-Dade county is considering raising taxes to fund libraries if voters support the idea with a straw poll this summer. This is after he championed a tax cut in 2011 that has drastically reduced the funding for libraries. Library advocates are calling for enough of a tax increase to fund a $64 million dollar per year budget for the library. This would be enough to increase operating hours and build collections that have been undercut by low funding for many years. This would mean that current property tax rate of $17 per $1,000 would need to be doubled to $35.
Congratulations to the Scenic Regional Library (MO) on their April 8th win. This is the first tax levy increase for library funding since 1959. The 10 cent increase won by 97 votes. This was a campaign that EveryLibrary was able to support with your help.
Congratulations to the Centralia Library District (MO). A measure was passed by 65% last Tuesday to increase the property tax by 25 cents. this will save the Centralia libraries from having to make drastic budget cuts that woul have resulted in a reduction of hours and staff by about 30%.
Another update on something we reported last week. The library in Galesburg (IL) will not have an advisory referendum on the ballot next November for a new library. Instead the City council voted for the purchase of $2 million in debt certificates. The library will need to find $3 million additional dollars in order to get a $16 million dollar grant from the state to build the new library.
Spokane Valley (WA) will have two measures on the April 22 ballot next week. The first is to create the Spokane Valley Library Capital Facility Area the other is for a $22 million bond that would fund two new libraries and renovate and expand another. The main library would be replaced by a new, larger building and the other new library would serve an undeserved area that previously ran a bond measure for a library that failed. The $22 million dollar bond would be a new levy paid with property taxes over 20 years. Also in Washington next week, the Camano Island Library (WA) will have a measure on the April 22nd ballot for a new library. A similar ballot measure failed in 2013. The current branch servicing this area has a lease that expires at the end of this month. If this measure does not pass the library will need to close. This was meant to be a temporary library as a pilot project to demonstrate library services. This will be a $2.3 million 10-year bond to be paid by property taxes.
That’s all for today. Join us next week for another round up. Happy trails!