Library Tax Vote - The Missourian: Opinion

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Library Tax Vote

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Posted: Thursday, April 3, 2014 7:00 pm

There aren’t many people who are endeared to property taxes. Yet property taxes are necessary for the services they provide. The services provided add to the quality of life in a community and area.

One of the entities supported by a property tax is Scenic Regional Library, which serves a three-county area. We remember when the library district was established in 1959. At the same election, a 10-cent operating tax was approved. One of the great benefits of the library district is that it provided a Bookmobile. That outreach program to people in the rural area was one of the most significant happenings ever in this area.

Scenic Regional Library has had capable board members and directors since the district was formed. It has been a conservative operation yet very productive. The district made outstanding progress in meeting its mission of providing the best possible library services with available resources. The progress has been steady and beneficial. In fact, the operation overall has been remarkable considering it has been operating on the same tax since 1959.

However, the times and expenses have put the district in a financial bind. It is limited in what it can do to reach new heights because a tax dating to 1959 is inadequate in today’s world. The district has decided to ask voters for a 10-cent increase in its levy in order for it to meet today’s library demands. It’s on ballots this coming Tuesday for those voters who live in the district. Part of Washington is in the regional district. Part of Washington is in the Washington Library jurisdiction. So not everybody in Washington will be given a Scenic Regional Library ballot. The Washington Library has partnered with the regional library and receives many benefits from it, including an annual grant.

To move forward and provide 2014 services, and beyond, the added revenue that the 10-cent additional tax will bring is vital. With the added income, the library can do more, reach more people and provide the services that are in demand today.

This vote is about the quality of life in this area. The added income will enhance services already in place and lead to expanded benefits, which have been fully explained in letters to the editor, including some in this issue. We urge voters to cast a positive ballot in this issue. Scenic Regional Library has proven its value to the area. It has earned a vote of confidence.

/opinion