Community supports library tax renewal

Community supports library tax renewal

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) - The Library's dedicated tax renewal of 11.1 mills passed with 58 percent of the vote.  The  Library tax was renewed by more than 58 percent of the voters Saturday night.

According to officials with the East Baton Rouge Parish Library, the Library is almost entirely supported by the 10-year dedicated property tax, which was up for renewal this year after being renewed previously in 1995 and 2005.  Almost all the Library System's budget is funded by this tax renewal.

The Board and staff members have developed a 10-year plan to expand facilities and collections, increase services, build new modern facilities and develop programs that will serve people of all ages equitably.

"On behalf of the East Baton Rouge Parish Library Board of Control, I want to say thank you to voters for supporting the Library and recognizing the importance of the Library throughout the Parish and the impact it makes every day on the young and the old alike.  I also want to thank the EBR Library PAC and Patrons of the Public Library (POPL) for all their support in passing this dedicated tax renewal," said Kizzy A. Payton, president of the Library Board of Control.

"The Library is critical to this community, and this renewal allows us to in turn support you with state-of-the art facilities, cutting-edge technology, free WiFi and computer use, engaging meeting and study space, books, classes, programs, online resources and so much more," Payton said.  "And with teen rooms and children's rooms being set aside at libraries and expanding programs for them, we are able to impact the lives of young people and start moving them in a new direction. Your Library Board wants to remain transparent, wise stewards of taxpayer funds and be open to public discussions. Thank you for being an engaged public and helping secure the Library's future for years to come."

Because the community voted YES on this renewal, it ensures we:

Library Director Spencer Watts thanked the community for its support.

"We are excited and grateful that the citizens have chosen to continue their tradition of support for the East Baton Rouge Parish Library by approving the dedicated tax," he said.  "Without this revenue, which is our primary source of funding, the Library would not be able to function.

"The community's investment in their libraries has helped us build strong, responsive programs, services, and collections that successfully meet the needs of people," Spencer said.  "It has also allowed us to build attractive, functional, facilities with modern features and to offer vital access to current technology.  This renewal of the millage means we can continue to work diligently to provide high quality services and outstanding libraries.  Our mission is to provide citizens with information, services and resources to make a positive difference in their lives.  I want to thank the voters for letting the Library continue that mission."

The Library's 10-year tax plan includes maintaining the current high level of services, resources, programs, collections and technology the Library currently offers – yet going beyond those to meet the needs of the public and the ever-changing advances in technology.