Library Tax Increase Going to Cole and Osage Voters
JEFFERSON CITY - The Missouri River Regional Library Board of Trustees voted Tuesday to place a levy increase proposal on the ballot for voters in Cole and Osage Counties.
Voters will get to vote on the measure in August. If the measure passes, the current tax would increase 10 cents per $100 assessed valuation. The current rate of 20 cents per $100 assessed valuation was passed by voters in Cole County in 1964 and by Osage County voters in 1966. However, due to the Hancock Amendment, homeowners in the two counties pay different amounts. The board gave the example of the owner of a $100,000 home in Cole County who pays $37 annually now and $33 annually now in Osage County. If voters approve the measure, each owner would pay an additional $20.
In a news release, board treasurer Tricia Schlecte said the bad economy has hurt the library's funding in recent years.
"Missouri River Regional Library's funding has remained flat since 2009, unfortunately during that time expenses have continued to rise," Schlecte said. "Additional funding will allow the library to continue and expand the outstanding services that our community relies on. New revenue would be used to implement bar code identification of all materials to increase efficiency in the circualtion processes; expand services to rural areas of the counties; increse the number of holdings; and re[place aging heating, venthilation and cooling systems, and elevators in the main library which was built in 1974."
The news release said if the measure is not passed, the library could reduce programming and shorten operating hours.