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Seeking Funds, Monroe County Library Convinces Council To Raise Property Taxes

A new tax rate approved for the Monroe County Public Library could charge county property owners $17,000 more in the coming year.

Last year’s county tax rate left the library short of funds after a statewide change in property tax law sent collections into a tailspin.  The new rate approved by the Monroe County Council represents about a 50% increase, but Council President Vic Kelson said that doesn’t mean the library will be able to collect 50% more money.

“If the rate we specify with whatever the new assessed evaluation is raises more money than we said we wanted to raise then they’ll lower the rate. If the rate we set doesn’t actually raise the amount we said we wanted to raise—though luck,” Kelson said. “So you get the smallest of the two numbers.”

The council voted to let the library raise a maximum of $462,932 from property taxes. That means the $17,000 increase is only about a 3.6% hike in funding. Kelson said the funding increase only helps the library tread water, financially.

“They’d like to raise the amount of money that’s raised by this fund by about 4% between 2009 and 2010,” Kelson said. “It’s only keeping pace with inflation.”

The funds will go to the library’s capital projects funds to be used for already-planned renovations, computer and technology updates and a new bookmobile.

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