Marin County Free Library parcel tax, Measure A (June 2010)

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A Marin County Free Library parcel tax, Measure A ballot proposition was on the June 8, 2010 ballot in Marin County for voters who live in the area served by the library, which includes voters in Fairfax, Novato, Corte Madera and voters in the unincorporated area of Marin County. It was approved.[1][2]

The ballot question asked voters to approve a $49/year parcel tax that would last for five years. At the rate of $49/parcel, the tax was estimated to generate about $2.5 million/year for the library system. At the time of this election, most of the library's revenues came from property tax collections, which had fallen as the state's economic depression had made its impact felt on property values.[3]

Administrators said that unless voters approve the parcel tax request, they may have to cut back on hours of service or lay off workers.[1]

A 2/3rds supermajority vote was required for approval.

Election results

Measure A
Approveda Yes 30,782 74.86%
These final, certified results are from the Marin County elections office.


The editorial board of the Marin Independent Journal endorsed Measure A, saying, "Local support for our libraries is evidence of the value we place on literacy, culture, academic achievement and knowledge. They are unlimited open spaces for our minds and hearts...The public discussion about our libraries should not be about what hours and programs to cut, but how can we expand hours and enhance library programs and services."[4]

About the library

When Measure A was approved, the Marin County Free Library had branches in Bolinas, Corte Madera, Fairfax, Inverness, Marin City, the Marin Civic Center in San Rafael, Novato, South Novato, Point Reyes Station and Stinson Beach. In 2009, 1.1 million visitors used the library, checking out more than 1.5 million books.[1]

The library system employed about 95 people and in fiscal year 2009-2010 had total expenditures of about $13 million. It ran at a deficit of $1 million from 2007-2010.[1]

In 2002, a Marin civil grand jury report said that the library had engaged in about $2.3 million of deficit spending in the five years ending in 2002.[1]

Text of measure


The question on the ballot:

MEASURE A: To provide critical funding to: bring local libraries up to date, prevent closures, and maintain library hours; provide children, teen, senior and disabled programs including adult and family literacy; maintain collections of books, CDs, DVDs, materials and services; provide ADA accessibility; and ensure local funding that can’t be taken by the State, shall Marin County Free Library be authorized to levy $49 per parcel annually for 5 years, including independent citizen oversight and senior citizen exemptions?[5]

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