For the first time in 11 years, the residents of the Palmyra Community Library District will vote on an increase to the annual library tax.
The board of trustees is asking residents to consider an increase of $36,000, which would bring the tax levy to $321,000 from the current $285,000 amount. This would mean a 12.6-cent tax increase per $1,000 in assessed property. For example, a property assessed at $100,000 would see a tax increase of approximately $12.62 per year, or about $1.05 per month.
Voters will elect three library board trustees for four-year terms starting Nov. 1 and ending Oct. 31, 2023. Qualified voters who have lived in the library district for at least one year before the election can run for the board. Candidates must be nominated by petition, which will be available starting June 17. Petitions must be completed and returned by Sept. 6.
The public referendum will take place on Oct. 15 from noon to 9 p.m. at the Palmyra Community Library, 402 E. Main St.
The current library tax levy of $285,000 was approved by voters in 2008, and for the past 10 years annual increases in the library’s operating costs have been absorbed through planning and budgeting. The 2019 budget maintains the same level of service to the community while complying with mandated minimum wage increases, but this situation cannot be sustained on an ongoing basis.
If the proposed funding is approved, benefits to the community include maintaining current days and hours of service, accommodating continually changing community needs, purchasing new books and materials to meet local demand, keeping pace with the rapid expansion of information technology, and securing current levels of computer/internet access, programming, meeting room availability, tutoring space, etc.
If the referendum is not approved, the library will need to consider reductions in the purchase of new materials, cuts to programming and/or reductions in hours of service.
District residents who are qualified to vote at a general election are eligible to vote. The library district encompasses the town of Palmyra, excluding the portion of the town that lies within Newark Central School District.
Applications for absentee ballots will be available at the library after Sept. 18. Applications must be returned to the library by Oct. 8 if the ballot is to be mailed to the vote, or Oct. 14 if the ballot is to be picked up in person. All absentee ballots must be received at the library by 9 p.m. on Oct. 15.
The library will hold information sessions at 1 p.m. on Sept. 25 and 7 p.m. on Sept. 26. Call (315) 597-5276 or visit palmyracommunitylibrary.org for information.