Our City Online

Messageboard - Politics

NOTE: You are viewing an archived version of the Columbus Underground forums/messageboard. As of 05/22/16 they have been closed to new comments and replies, but will remain accessible for archived searches and reference. For more information CLICK HERE

Issue 4: Columbus Metropolitan Library Levy

Home Forums General Columbus Discussion Politics Issue 4: Columbus Metropolitan Library Levy

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 107 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #82726
    Jeff Regensburger
    Jeff Regensburger
    Participant

    I thought the Columbus Metropolitan Library levy deserved it’s own thread. They’ll be on the November ballot and explain the situation like this:

    Quote:
    Now more than ever, residents rely on the Columbus Metropolitan Library for books, research, internet access, job searches, homework assistance and other services they need daily.

    In 24 years, our library has not increased its 2.2 mill levy, the library’s only local tax support. Due to state budget cuts, our library has had to make $11 million in responsible reductions including reducing pay, cutting staff by 160 positions, deferring maintenance and cutting hours including closing branches on Sundays (excluding the Main library).

    The library needs our help to continue to provide services that our community needs.

    The issue replaces the 2.2 mills first passed in 1986 and adds 0.6 mills to help balance the budget. It’s an additional $5.24 per month per $100,000 of home value.

    The November ballot issue is a necessity to help us provide and protect those services. Without it, we could lose up to 75% of our funding and potentially close HALF our libraries.

    In the interest of full disclosure I work in the library field (not with Columbus). I am a member of the Columbus Library Friends though.

    The campaign site is here:

    http://www.keepcmlstrong.org/

    In the larger context I think the current economy is localizing politics and issues in a way that we haven’t seen in a while. State cuts and lower property taxes are forcing cities and municipalities to go directly to their constituents to meet shortfalls. We’ve seen it with local income tax votes, school levies, and bond issues. It’s a kind of simple and direct democracy.

    In this case, if you value libraries and recognize their importance in our community, you’ll vote yes. If you think we can do without, you’ll vote no.

    #390928

    brothermarcus
    Participant

    jeff_r wrote State cuts and lower property taxes are forcing cities and municipalities to go directly to their constituents to meet shortfalls. We’ve seen it with local income tax votes, school levies, and bond issues. It’s a kind of simple and direct democracy.
    In this case, if you value libraries and recognize their importance in our community, you’ll vote yes. If you think we can do without, you’ll vote no.

    correction – lower property tax revenues, I’ve not seen a property tax go down for the property owner in my 31 years on this planet. At best the politicians will say “you won’t see an INCREASE in your current taxes” but you can pry the levy dollars out of their cold dead hands, or income tax dollars for a City of Columbus reference. and this “simple and direct democracy” does have a finite level of resource in the pocket of the property owner, which is why things are getting so bitter regarding school levies and other millages.

    that being said, the Columbus Metropolitan Library is one institution I would personally support – it has a track record of providing exceptional quality services that many local school systems and most local governments cannot begin to compare with.

    #390929
    Jeff Regensburger
    Jeff Regensburger
    Participant

    brothermarcus wrote >>

    jeff_r wrote State cuts and lower property taxes are forcing cities and municipalities to go directly to their constituents to meet shortfalls. We’ve seen it with local income tax votes, school levies, and bond issues. It’s a kind of simple and direct democracy.
    In this case, if you value libraries and recognize their importance in our community, you’ll vote yes. If you think we can do without, you’ll vote no.

    correction – lower property tax revenues

    Right. That’s what I meant. As foreclosures increase and property values drop, revenues from property taxes drop too.

    I’m glad too that you recognize the value of Columbus Metropolitan Library and its track record of responsible stewardship. Thanks for your support! :)

    #390930

    dirtgirl
    Participant

    Wow, this is an eye-opener. If .6 mils is $5.24 per month per $100,000 of home value, it sounds like I’m already paying them about $40/month for the base millage, and now this increase is another $10. Over $50 a month just for libraries?! I’d pay that for police and fire protection, but that’s a lot of money for an occasional book (which usually runs me another $5 in late fees anyway).

    I would support a renewal of 2.2 mils, but an increase seems poorly-timed given the economy.

    #390931

    Tenzo
    Participant

    Is a 25% tax hike the magic number around here for some reason?

    #390932

    Absolutely NOT worth it! The tax increases have to stop somewhere and the time is now. Strickland has decided to drastically cut funding for Libraries, hoping that the local areas will foot the bill. The libraries are like schools, just keep spending and spending. It’s time to rethink the system, Libraries should change from being a lending institution to being a RENTAL institution. Why should I pay taxes so someone can get to listen to the latest rap CD. If you have been to a library during the last decade, you will see its more like Blockbuster, full of CDs and movies, that people take out for FREE.

    #390933

    alison
    Member

    RoundTowner wrote >>
    ….Why should I pay taxes so someone can get to listen to the latest rap CD. If you have been to a library during the last decade, you will see its more like Blockbuster, full of CDs and movies, that people take out for FREE.

    If you’ve been to the library in the past few years you’ll notice it’s a whole lot more like a job readiness center, with resume and job search classes. You’ll notice it’s a whole lot more like kids community center, with story hours, a safe environment, activities, and an emphasis on reading and education. You’ll notice it’s a whole lot more like a social leveler, giving people who can’t afford a computer and monthly service access to information that is increasingly unavailable anywhere else. You’ll notice it’s a whole lot more like what the great institutions of democracy are supposed to be — access for all, not just those with money.

    Helps create a more literate youth? Gives kids a safe place off the street to entertain aand educate themselves? Helps people learn more and find jobs? And yes — gives all of us *including* me access to movies and CDs and entertainment that I wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise?

    Hell, yes I’ll vote for the library. I wish I could vote twice.

    #390934

    alison wrote >>

    RoundTowner wrote >>
    ….Why should I pay taxes so someone can get to listen to the latest rap CD. If you have been to a library during the last decade, you will see its more like Blockbuster, full of CDs and movies, that people take out for FREE.

    If you’ve been to the library in the past few years you’ll notice it’s a whole lot more like a job readiness center, with resume and job search classes. You’ll notice it’s a whole lot more like kids community center, with story hours, a safe environment, activities, and an emphasis on reading and education. You’ll notice it’s a whole lot more like a social leveler, giving people who can’t afford a computer and monthly service access to information that is increasingly unavailable anywhere else. You’ll notice it’s a whole lot more like what the great institutions of democracy are supposed to be — access for all, not just those with money.
    Helps create a more literate youth? Gives kids a safe place off the street to entertain aand educate themselves? Helps people learn more and find jobs? And yes — gives all of us *including* me access to movies and CDs and entertainment that I wouldn’t be able to afford otherwise?
    Hell, yes I’ll vote for the library. I wish I could vote twice.

    Sorry, most of this sounds like the job of a school or daycare or one of several other Govenment programs, NOT another tax payer funded wasteland. As far as a safe zone. If you can get past the smell of pee radiating off of the winos sitting in the front area of the Main Library, then I would buy it.

    It’s no wonder government keeps raising taxes, when people ACTUALLY VOTE to increase them, politicians must think we are all crazy to throw away money JUST because a levy asks for it.

    #390935

    joev
    Participant

    I’m not voting for the levy. EVERY government entity is making these cuts, and the library shouldn’t be exempt. It’s a valuable service, and I love the library, but among everything else that’s valuable, I can’t see giving them more of my money when I’m not getting paid any more.

    #390936

    alison
    Member

    “Schools, daycares, and other government programs” have also had severe cutbacks — at a time when services are desparately needed.

    The presence of poor people disturbs you that much? You are a delicate flower, aren’t you.

    #390937

    chaptal
    Participant

    CML has not been exempt from making cuts. In the past year, there was a pay cut for all staff. Library hours were also cut, as was the acquisitions budget. This was due to the state allocation being decreased. There has been a local levy in place for the past ten years. This levy is an increase over the current one to replace a lot of funding that was cut from the state budget. Whether or not CML is taking a risk with the increase will be determined at the polls in November.

    #390938

    berdawn
    Member

    RoundTowner wrote >>
    It’s time to rethink the system, Libraries should change from being a lending institution to being a RENTAL institution. Why should I pay taxes so someone can get to listen to the latest rap CD. If you have been to a library during the last decade, you will see its more like Blockbuster, full of CDs and movies, that people take out for FREE.

    anybody else hear that dog whistle?

    #390939

    joev
    Participant

    chaptal wrote >>
    CML has not been exempt from making cuts. In the past year, there was a pay cut for all staff. Library hours were also cut, as was the acquisitions budget. This was due to the state allocation being decreased. There has been a local levy in place for the past ten years. This levy is an increase over the current one to replace a lot of funding that was cut from the state budget. Whether or not CML is taking a risk with the increase will be determined at the polls in November.

    I understand this levy is partially to make up for the decrease in state revenue. But I’d rather cut library services than give more of my money toward them. If the choice is between cuts in service or shifting the tax burden to us, I choose cutting services in the present economy. I’m not going to make $150 extra dollars this year – which is what this levy would take from me.

    While I love having the best library in the nation in Columbus, I think with the economy the way it is, I’d be satisfied with a good library that isn’t the best in the nation.

    #390940

    chaptal
    Participant

    joev wrote >>

    chaptal wrote >>
    CML has not been exempt from making cuts. In the past year, there was a pay cut for all staff. Library hours were also cut, as was the acquisitions budget. This was due to the state allocation being decreased. There has been a local levy in place for the past ten years. This levy is an increase over the current one to replace a lot of funding that was cut from the state budget. Whether or not CML is taking a risk with the increase will be determined at the polls in November.

    I understand this levy is partially to make up for the decrease in state revenue. But I’d rather cut library services than give more of my money toward them. If the choice is between cuts in service or shifting the tax burden to us, I choose cutting services in the present economy. I’m not going to make $150 extra dollars this year – which is what this levy would take from me.
    While I love having the best library in the nation in Columbus, I think with the economy the way it is, I’d be satisfied with a good library that isn’t the best in the nation.

    I see that thinking as a support of a race to the bottom. We were great, and that was wonderful, but I’m not going to spend an extra twelve dollars a month to keep it that way. Let’s be good instead.

    I know CML has been attempting private donations and partnerships. but that does not seem to be enough. So is cutting more hours and services going to sustain a staff of a once great library that you would be happy to see as good? It’s a potentially ugly downward spiral.

    #390941

    joev
    Participant

    When I can’t afford a Wagyu New York Strip, I don’t just buy it anyway. I switch to hanger steak, which is also delicious, just not as luxurious. To do otherwise would be irresponsible, as I’m not a fan of living outside my means. Libraries should realize there isn’t a bottomless reserve of funds out there to beg for when times are rough.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 107 total)

The forum ‘Politics’ is closed to new topics and replies.

Subscribe below: