Wednesday, October 13, 2010

It's Deja Vu All Over Again

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen voted to cut the Library funding by $55,000. After all, the Library has those trust funds they can use. The Library Director told the Board that if they did that, it would jeapordize the Library's state funding, since state law requires local jurisdictions to maintain their level of funding in order to receive state funding. Also, only the interest of trust funds can be used for operating the Library - and they do not count as part of the local funding. Sound familiar? But this news wasn't from this year - it was from 2001. However, in 2001 there was a happier ending. The Board voted to reinstate the funds.

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen voted to increase taxes and part of the increase was for a dedicated millage for the Library. Of course, people came out in droves against a tax increase, but no one seemed to object to giving the Library more money. Faced with all this pressure, the Board votes to cut the tax increase. Guess what got cut? The Library, of course. This didn't happen this year either. It happened in 2000.

The Mayor and Board of Aldermen voted to increase taxes and part of the increase was for a dedicated millage for the Library. I know I'm repeating myself, but this time (2005) it actually happened! 2.575 mills was dedicated to the Library. This did not represent an increase in funds, but it meant the Library could predict its income based on the value of a mill and didn't have to beg the Board every year to fund it out of the General Fund. In good years, it would go up, and in bad years it would go down. This was a major goal for the new Library Director when she arrived in 2002.

As we all know, the City claims it reduced the millage last year (2009) when the value of a mill happened to go up and thus taxes would increase. They certainly didn't want the Library getting more money! However, there is nary a mention of this in the newspaper. In fact, in several articles, it references the last time taxes went up was when they dedicated millage to the Library. Plus, they just happened not to inform the Library. Interesting, don't you think?

PS  While I was going through back issues of the Democrat searching for "library", I kept noticing all the positive things happening across the river. Of course, Concordia Parish Library got $875,944 in ad valorem taxes for a population of 19,060, whereas we got $255,000 for a population of 31,307 (2008 figures). What's wrong with this picture?

Concordia Parish: $45.96 per person for the library
Natchez/Adams County: $8.15 per person for the library

No comments:

Post a Comment