The Archbold Community Library will ask voters in the Archbold School District to approve a new 1.2-mill property tax levy on the Tuesday, Nov. 7 general election ballot.
That decision came at the Thursday, June 8 library board meeting.
With the future of state support for public libraries uncertain, the board opted to request operating funds from the local community.
Libraries have been funded by the state using the Public Library Fund, or PLF. The fund, and the amount the state sends to each library, was based on a small percentage of the total revenue that comes into state coffers.
However, money from the state has not kept up with library needs. Then, during the years of the Great Recession, the state began cutting the PLF.
Joyce Klingelsmith, library director, said the state legislature has not yet set the budget for the next two years.
Jennifer Harkey, library fiscal officer, said in a Monday interview, the state Senate version of the budget would require cutting $650 million, with a $1 billon revenue shortfall. She anticipates that the PLF will be among the items that are cut.
Harkey also said often, numbers and estimates provided by the state are not reliable.
During the May 17 library board meeting, board members requested the county auditor office certify the estimated per-year amounts that property tax levies of 1 mill, 1.1 mills, and 1.2 mills would generate.
The difference per onetenth (.1) of a mill is $22,000.
A 1-mill levy would raise $222,000 from taxpayers. A levy of 1.1 mills would bring in $244,000, while 1.2 mills would generate $266,000.
Jay Budde, board member, questioned if the actual amount of the millage really makes much difference.
“Do people really say, ‘I’ll support the library for 1 mill, but not 1.1’?
“People are going to support the library or they’re not,” he said.
In computing how much a property tax levy will cost the average homeowner, the Archbold Buckeye uses a home with the market value of $100,000.
Annie Hernandez, fiscal supervisor for the Fulton County Auditor office, said for a $100,000 home, a 1.2- mill tax would cost about $42 per year.
Library officials use a $115,000 home as the standard, because the average value of a home in the school district is $120,000.
For a $115,000 home, Hernandez said the cost is $48.30.
Because the library board does not have the authority to assess taxes, the Archbold School Board puts levies on the ballot on behalf of the library.
With Jed Grisez, board member, absent, the board voted unanimously to ask the school board to place the levy on the fall ballot.
Paperwork must be into the Fulton County Board of Elections by Wednesday, Aug. 9.
Currently, the library collects a seven-tenths (.7) mill levy for operations.
If the new 1.2-mill levy is approved by voters, the old levy will not be collected, and will be allowed to expire.
The library board also talked about forming a campaign committee, which would be a political action committee.
Klingelsmith said the library board cannot promote or use library funds to promote the levy. However, library board members can serve on a political action committee.
In other action, the board discussed its process for locating a new library director.
Klingelsmith, an almost- 30-year library employee with 28 years as library director, has announced her retirement. Her last day will be Dec. 31.