The financial constraints of Initiative 747 (I-747) have an impact on KCLS’ operating budget.
KCLS receives 96% of its operating revenue from property taxes. In 2001, voters passed I-747 which limits growth in current property tax revenues to 1% per year, and requires an election to authorize any increase above the 1% limit.
In 2002, voters approved a one-year levy lid lift for KCLS which sustained operations for eight years. During this time period, revenue growth was insufficient to keep pace with the rate of inflation and growth-driven annual operating cost increases, yet library usage increased by 43%.
In 2009, KCLS cut $1.9 million out of the operating budget for materials (books, magazines, DVDs, books on tape, etc.), technology, administration and facility maintenance. In addition, KCLS sought private funding to support a number of programs and services.
KCLS now needs to ask voters to restore the library levy rate for one year to 50 cents per $1,000 assessed value, to be collected in 2011. The restored revenue will enable KCLS to preserve the current level of library service, programs and resources at all 44 libraries, and maintain outreach services to community centers, low-income daycare facilities, and to the elderly and homebound.
WHAT WILL THE IMPACT BE ON LIBRARY SERVICES IF PROPOSITION 1 DOES NOT PASS?
If Proposition 1 does not pass, KCLS will face 10-15% budget cuts across the organization, including funding for books, computers and building maintenance to operate within current revenue restrictions.
Effects of these cuts may include increased wait times for popular library materials, reduced availability of computers, and less frequent maintenance and upkeep of libraries.
Without temporary restoration of the levy rate, the number of library workers and the hours of operation will be impacted in future years.
HOMEOWNER COST OF PROPOSITION 1
A homeowner would pay an increase of about $32 on a home assessed at $400,000 to restore the library property tax levy rate to 50 cents per $1,000 of assessed value.