Commonwealth Journal

Local News

November 1, 2012

Q&A forum on library tax being held tonight

Petition to dissolve taxing district could close library

Somerset —  

Parties on both sides of the debate over the library’s special taxing district are reaching out to the public through an informal question-and-answer forum. 
Members of the public are invited to a meeting at the Pulaski County Public Library tonight at 6 p.m. to hear a discussion on both sides of a debate over the library board’s special taxing district — and its perceived lack of oversight — and efforts by some to dissolve the board in hopes of re-creating it under the county’s purview. 
“We’re hoping to answer some questions that we have been hearing out in the public that the people are concerned about,” said Charlotte Keeney, director for the library.
Members of a group that has circulated a petition seeking enough signatures to dissolve the special library taxing district— which is not overseen by Pulaski County Fiscal Court or any other county entity — are expected at the meeting as well.
“I just think it’s a good idea for us to sit down and talk,” said Barbara Sanders, who has been outspoken about the library board’s recent tax increases and who began the petition drive. 
The board accepted for the 2012-2013 year what’s called a compensating tax rate, calculated to be 6.40 cents per $100 of real property, up from 6.30 cents last year. That means a person who owns property assessed at $100,000 would pay around $64. Tax rates for personal property also went up a bit (7.65 to 7.66 cents). 
The compensating rate will give the district roughly the same amount of revenue as it received the year before through tax collections. That compensating rate is determined by property values as recorded by the Pulaski County PVA Office. Property values went down slightly, which means the library board had to enact a higher tax rate to get the same amount of money. 

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