Marin County Free Library parcel tax, Measure A (June 2010)
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 would generate about $2.5 million/year for the library system. Most of the library's current revenues come from property tax collections, which have fallen as the state's economic depression has made its impact felt on property values. A 2/3rds supermajority vote was required for approval.
Administrators say that unless voters approve the parcel tax request, they may have to cut back on hours of service or lay off workers.
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."
About the library
The Marin County Free Library has 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.
The library system employs 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.
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.
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?|
- Website of the Marin County Free Library
- Blog of the Marin County Free Library
- Official text of Measure A
- "Yes for Marin County Library", campaign website
- Facebook page of the "Yes for Marin County Library" campaign
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Contra Costa Times, "Marin County Free Library will ask voters to approve $49 parcel tax in June", February 9, 2010
- ↑ Marin Independent Journal, "Marin voters to weigh $49 library parcel tax on June ballot", April 17, 2010
- ↑ Marin Independent Journal, "Five tax measures on Marin's June 8 ballot", March 24, 2010
- ↑ Marin Independent Journal, "Editorial: IJ endorses all three local library taxes", April 25, 2010