Monday, June 14, 2010
Maricopa County Library District Tax: Case Study for Fall 2010 LIS 712 Class
Link to June 13 Arizona Republic article, "Valley cities chafe at Maricopa County Library District tax".
Excerpt: These have been the worst of times for Phoenix's public libraries.
Slammed by repeated rounds of budget cuts, the system slashed its staffing and hours of operation last year by 30 percent, and this year, hours were cut even more.
"We've had huge reductions in our materials budget as well," said city librarian Toni Garvey. Yet while Phoenix residents see their own libraries sinking, they're sending millions of tax dollars a year to the Maricopa County Library District to support libraries in well-to-do suburbs such as Anthem and Fountain Hills.
Phoenix, Mesa and other large Valley cities have been battling for years against the perceived inequity, and they are hoping next year's Legislature will address the issue. Three bills to overhaul the tax formula failed in this year's session.
"It's been clear from our conversations with the county that really the only resolution is a legislative resolution," Garvey said. "So that's what we'll try to do."
Everyone who pays property taxes in Maricopa County pays into the county library system, which was born in the mid-1980s when the Valley was far less urbanized.