Friday, September 18, 2009

St. Croix Librarians Request a More Equitable Level of Funding from County

Link to September 17 Hudson Star-Observer article, "St. Croix librarians lobby for more rural funding".

Excerpt: While property owners living in cities or villages with a library support the service through taxes they pay to their municipality, state law requires counties to levy a separate tax on rural property. That tax must cover at least 70 percent of the cost of rural circulation. In St. Croix County it currently covers 71 percent.

At the current tax rate, the owner of a $200,000 home in a rural area pays a library tax of $37 per year. If the county raised the tax to cover 100 percent of operating costs, the tax would be $52 a year.

“We’re not looking to make any money on this,” said New Richmond Alderman Jim Zajkowski. “We just want everybody to pay their fair share.”

New Richmond Library Director Scott Vrieze said residents of his city pay nearly 72 percent of the cost of operating the city’s public library, but use of the library is divided almost equally between city residents and non-city residents.

Other libraries in the county see similar patterns, said Vrieze.

Communities with public libraries in St. Croix County:
Deer Park
Glenwood City
New Richmond

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