Mid-Continent Public Library is placing an increase to its operating levy on the November ballot for the purpose of building and renovating library branches and maintaining or expanding library collections, services, and programs.
The levy increase is titled Proposition L.
If the levy is approved by the voters, the Library would renovate 28 Library buildings and construct 6 new or replacement Library buildings to serve the needs of modern Library users. The levy would also allow the Library to provide access to services by expanding their in-branch internet bandwidth; increasing the number of physical and digital books, movies and music; and increasing investment in online instruction for every age and information database.
Should the levy increase not pass, the Mid-Continent Public Library foresees it may have to cut back hours of operations and staff; decrease outreach and partnership development or phase-out services for adults, teens, and small businesses; and invest more resources in performing the basic repairs to maintain the existing facilities instead of investment in improving bandwidth, investing in digital materials, and meeting the needs of the growing population.
How much of a levy increase is within this proposal?
Proposition L would result in an average of 1% property tax increase for the average household or an additional $15.20 annually for a home value of $100,000. The Library states the average cost of a new hardbound book is $27.00.
Why are residents of Kansas City being asked to vote on this proposition?
Mid-Continent Libraries serves Kansas City residents. The Mid-Continent Public Library System includes all libraries in Kansas City, North of the river, the Red Bridge Branch Library, Blue Ridge Branch Library, and offer program services at the Hillcrest Community Center, as well as Marlborough Community Center.
Why is the Mid-Continent Public Library proposing an increase?
Remember, the Library does not charge for someone to check a book out or utilize its computers. The Library is very dependent on the levy collected from real and personal property taxes to continue to serve the community. 1983 is last time the Public Library increased its levy.
Last year, the Mid-Continent Public Library confirmed the number of visitors would have filled Kauffman Stadium 97 times. Last year, the Library helped homebound and senior residents by providing 8,700+ Senior Adults free tax help programs, provided 963,225 residents access to public computers and Wi-Fi sessions at the Libraries, and had 237,000 individuals attend literacy-based programs. Over the next 15 years, the Library District’s population is forecasted to grow to 1 Million residents.
The Mid-Continent Public Library serves as much more than just a place to check out books. They offer small business support, literacy programs, meeting rooms, teaching assistants, genealogy research assistance, children’s programs and more.
When you go to the polls on November 8, the language on the ballot will be the following:
For the purpose of renovations and replacing aging library facilities, enhancing spaces and programming for children and adults, expanding services and collections to serve public demand, and for the general operations of public libraries, shall there be an eight cent tax increase over the thirty-two cent tax per hundred dollars assessed valuation for Consolidated Library District #3, known as the Mid-Continent Public Library?
Don’t forget to go VOTE on November 8th!