DO NOT SIGN THE PETITION
If you support the library
What is this petition to dissolve the library special taxing district about?
Recently a petition has circulated favoring dissolving the Pulaski County Public Library Special Taxing District. The petition is the result of objections to a tax rate increase by the special tax district. The rate increased in response to decreased property value assessments. Pulaski County Magistrates are NOT responsible for this minor rate increase.
This tax increase from the 2011 rate is $1 on every $100,000 worth of property annually.
What would happen to your public library if the library special taxing district were to be dissolved?
Upon presentation of a "duly-certified" petition, the fiscal court will adopt a resolution to dissolve the district. This order shall be filed with county court clerk, who should certify that the signatures satisfy the requirements of statute. See OAG 84-141 for information as to what constitutes an acceptable signature, and OAG 66-266 for definition of "duly-certified".
However, even if sufficient signatures are collect the library district would not be immediately dissolved, as there are considerable contractual obligations which must be met. The Kentucky Constitution (§159, Ky Constitution) mandates that contractual obligations not be abrogated, and OAG 79-102 opines that a tax rate may not be decreased to the point where it will impair repayment of these existing contractual obligations. The library tax would continue until all debts were repaid in full.
In Padgett v. Sensing, Ky 438 S.W.2d 501 (1969) the court states that after a successful dissolution petition the library board would only continue to function in paying off debts, along with any such incidental function which may be necessary in ceasing business. The court states that "after the entry of the resolution by the fiscal court dissolving, the action of the library board is limited to performing the 'contractual obligations' it incurred before the date of filing of the petition.
It is the Kentucky Department for Libraries & Archives opinion that the library would close and all staff would be terminated (with the possible exception of an administrator to oversee debt repayment), as continuing operation of the library cannot be considered as necessary for the repaying of existing debts.
Further, the buildings and all furniture, books, and other material items would be subject to sale in order to satisfy existing debts.
The fiscal court would be unable to create a library district to replace the one dissolved, as there may be only one library district in a county (OAG 81-257). A new district could not be created until all the contractual obligations of the existing district are fulfilled, which could take years.
All library services in your county would cease.
95% of the library's income comes from taxes.
Library Property Tax
In 2006 Citizens of Pulaski County overwhelmingly supported improved library services with an increase in property taxes. 9,693 qualified voters signed a petition that allowed the construction of the main library branch in downtown Somerset. The tax makes possible operation of the entire five facility system.
Program attendance at the main library in downtown Somerset increased from 44,734 (prior to the new facility) to 88,551 so far in 2012.
These new facilities not only meet the increased needs, but are often showcased by the economic development leaders, the regional medical community and the local school systems as recruiting mainstays.
|Property Tax||Per $100,000 of Property Value|
|2006||6.0||(increase for new library)||$60.00|
|2009||6.0||(4% increase allowed by Law)||$60.00|
|2011||6.3||(4% increase allowed by Law)||$63.00|
The total increase to the tax in this 6 year period $4.00 per $100,000 in property value.
According to the last Census Report, the average property value in Pulaski County as $97,000.00. This would make the average person paying less than $64.00.
To pay off the debt of the Library Today it would cost $9,507,830.