Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Question of the Day: Is the proposed tax rate in line with what other libraries in our area receive?

The short answer is yes, the proposed tax rate is in line with those of our neighboring districts that have passed referenda recently, like Oswego and Fountaindale Library Districts. Libraries in the suburban Chicago area spend an average of $7.34 per month per resident for service. Last year, the Plainfield Public Library District spent $4.23 per month per resident, Fountaindale spent $6.72 prior to the full increase from their recent referendum.

The long version:
Comparing tax rates can be tricky. Different types of libraries are funded differently. For example, Joliet and Naperville are units of city government. In most cases, city libraries receive utilities at no cost through the city's franchise agreements with the utility companies. Cities have access to other types of funds and bonding authority not available to library districts. Also, certain costs like audits, pension fund contributions, and liability insurance may be paid by through the City's tax rate and fees or may be included in the library portion of the tax rate. Joliet Public Library's Black Road Branch and recent remodeling of the downtown library were built without a bond on the library's tax rate. Tax rates for city libraries in Will County range from $0.7472 for the Park Forest Public Library to $0.1578 for the Joliet Public Library.

Library districts, like the Plainfield Public Library District, are independent taxing bodies, so their tax rates include costs for utilities, pension contributions, liability insurance, and the annual audit required by state law. Library district tax rates in Will County range from $0.4865 for the University Park Public Library District to $0.0983 for the Three Rivers Public Library District (Channahon/Minooka).

No comments: