Some people have expressed surprise at the positive vote for a property tax hike for Scenic Regional Library. We view it, even though it was a close victory, as a vote of confidence for the library that serves a three-county area.
It also was a vote of appreciation for what the library means to so many people. They place a high value on its services.
The positive vote also sends a message. That message is that the people in the three-county area recognize how important reading is, both from the educational and recreational/entertainment standpoints, and that they are willing to pay slightly more in property taxes to ensure that the revenue is there to provide the services they value.
We are sure the passage of the 10-cent hike in the tax, bringing it to 20 cents per $100 valuation, made an impression on people around the state, including library officials, because property tax increases are difficult to come by these days. Scenic Regional Library Director Steve Campbell, and others, did a good job of getting the message out as to the need for the increase. Campbell gave talks around the district and was very thorough in his presentations. The campaign for the tax increase was well organized.
This increase, the first since 1959, will enable the library to meet today’s demands and keep up with future challenges in providing the services people want. With that commitment, it enhances the quality of life in the district.
Congratulations are due not only to the leaders in the campaign but to the people who voted for the tax increase. Although the voter turnout was low, typical for an April election, enough people who value the library did show up at the polls to deliver a victory.