Library Faces $5.4 Million in Cuts

March 01, 2005

Beginning in 1992 local property tax revenue has been taken every year from counties, cities and special districts, including libraries, to balance the State budget.

The Santa Clara County Library experienced a 44% cut in revenue resulting in cuts to hours, books and staff; today $10.7 million is taken annually from County Library property taxes.

In 1994 voters approved by over a two-thirds majority vote an annual parcel assessment to fund the nine libraries that make up the Santa Clara County Library. This ten-year assessment expires in June 2005. It currently accounts for $5.4 million or 20% of the annual operating budget.

Measure A will continue the current $33.66 annual tax to maintain current services. If the funding does not continue, our libraries will face additional closures and service reductions, including cuts in hours, books, story times, literacy programming, and bookmobile services.

Measure B will increase the annual tax by $12 per year. This funding restores the library hours, materials, and services that were recently cut. Measure B only can go into effect if Measure A passes.

Both of these measures will be considered by voters in an upcoming special mail-in ballot election.

On April 4th registered voters will be mailed a ballot that must be returned and received no later than May 3rd, 8 pm, to the Office of the Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters. A two-thirds majority vote is required to pass the measures.

Every dollar that taxpayers in our community pay will be returned to the operation of the library in their individual community. For example, all Measure A and B funds generated in Gilroy stay local for the benefit of the Gilroy Library.

Posted by Santa Clara County Library at March 1, 2005 08:40 PM