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|Library tax renewal on ballot Saturday|
Concordia Parish Library Director Amanda Taylor said this week that "Saturday is very important to the public library."
On Saturday, voters will go to the polls to decide the fate of a 10-year, 8.5-mill property tax renewal for the Concordia Parish Library. The tax generates about $850,000 per year for maintenance, repair, improvements, operations and other areas of support for the library system parishwide.
"This is 93 percent of our budget and we have to have the support of the public in order to continue to operate," said Taylor.
She said if the library is important to the community and to education then voters can show their support by voting in favor of the millage.
"We're celebrating 80 years of service and are the second oldest demonstration library in Louisiana and were the first library in Louisiana to pass a millage to support library service," she said.
In 1928, the Ferriday Rotary Club joined with a state library commission to help organize the library system in Concordia, said Taylor. This was the second such system established in North Louisiana. Richland Parish was the first.
"In the state library in Baton Rouge there is a large framed photograph of the Concordia Parish bookmobile taken in 1928," said Taylor. "The parish's library has a wonderful history and we need our citizens who believe in the library to take time out of their Saturday and vote 'yes' if they want to continue this service. This is a straight renewal and it is the only thing on the ballot."
The Registrar of Voters office said 124 voters cast early votes last week. Polls open at 6 a.m. Saturday and close at 8 p.m.
Taylor offered additional information on the millage:
• The tax will continue to fund three branches and one bookmobile.
• The Library Board administers the millage. Board members serve without pay and hold six open meetings a year in different areas of the parish.
• No property tax is paid by citizens with houses valued at $75,000 or less due to Homestead Exemption.
• The library is dependent on 93 percent of its funding from this local property tax.. State and federal revenues amount to about four percent. Donations, grants, and fees amount to approximately three percent.
Taylor said the library has no alternative funds for operation and does not receive financial support from any other agency.
• More than 10,000 citizens have new bar-coded library cards. Usage for the last 10 years (1997-2007) included 1,042,217 pieces of information circulated, and 3,293 programs provided. A total of 142,763 citizens attended library programs and 12O,OOO citizens used the internet at the library.
• The millage will be placed on the 2009 tax roles, and the money will be received by the library for the fiscal year 2010 budget.
• The millage provides books and library materials, insurance, postage, and utilities (costs adjusted for inflation for the next 10 years), the latest technological advancements, a continuation of maintenance and upkeep of present facilities, improvements in staffing, facilities and materials to meet state standards and the myriad services and programs presently provided by the facility parishwide.
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