Several weeks ago, I wrote about library funding threats with the proposal to eliminate personal property tax. The issue continues to receive media attention across the state but most of the coverage does not mention that personal property tax (PPT) is a critical source of local library funding.
The legislature will take up this issue in January. The library community is committed to informing our legislators and our patrons of the importance of this revenue source and what it would mean if it was eliminated and not replaced.
Personal property tax is a tax paid by businesses, not individuals or homeowners. It is based on the tangible or physical assets of a business such as office furniture, computers, industrial machinery and equipment, copy and fax machines. It is not a tax on land and buildings.
About 10%, $1.2 million, of our revenue is from personal property tax. If PPT was eliminated and not replaced by a guaranteed, stable funding source for libraries, KPL would be forced to make significant reductions in our programs and services, in addition to those we have already made. We would further reduce services hours at all locations, eliminate adult programming and reduce youth programming, have fewer public computers , buy fewer new materials…..basically all services would be reduced, with some eliminated.
KPL, like most libraries, is increasingly busy. Our circulation is up 31% in the first six months of the year; computer use, patron assistance, attendance at events – all up.
The library community is advocating “replace, don’t erase” the personal property tax. If eliminated, it needs to be replaced. Our board of trustees has adopted a resolution supporting that approach.
Please ask your state representative or senator to fully replace the tax, consider writing a letter to the editor, and share this library threat with others.
Replace Don't Erase