Commonwealth Journal

Local News

November 5, 2012

Petitioners say they don’t want library to fail

Somerset —  

Although a petition drive to dissolve the library taxing district is still alive, key members of the group met last night with a local attorney in search of answers to a problem that has rocked the county. 
“All we want is what’s right,” said Terry Hines on Monday. “We’re trying to do the taxpayers a real favor without harming the library.”
Several members of the petition group, which is headed by Barbara Sanders, met with Somerset City Attorney Carrie Wiese Monday evening in hopes of searching for a few answers that have eluded the group since the controversy over the Pulaski County library and recent tax increases began several months ago. 
“I think it went really well tonight,” said Wiese on Monday.
Sanders and her group have until December to turn in a petition with the needed 6,500 signatures that would dissolve the board — despite reports that the group’s deadline was on Monday afternoon. 
The Pulaski County Library Board was criticized earlier this year after the library enacted a tax increase, and county officials expressed frustrations over a lack of oversight for the library’s special taxing district. The Pulaski County Fiscal Court has no authority over the library board, which is made up of appointed board members who get no compensation — yet the county often takes the heat for higher tax rates that county officials have no control over.
The library 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. The compensating rate will give the district roughly the same amount of revenue as it received the year before through tax collections. 
The library tax rate increased in 2009 to 6 cents per $100 of real property, and that rate stayed the same in 2010. It increased in 2011 to 6.30 cents per $100. 

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