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Canajoharie, NY ,

Local libraries request annual, tax-based funding on May 20 ballot

Wednesday, May 14, 2014 - Updated: 9:59 AM


C-S-E Editor

On Tuesday, May 20, residents of the Canajoharie and Fort Plain central school districts will vote to provide their respective local libraries with annual, tax-based funding.

Village of Fort Plain and town of Minden voters will be asked to approve a $25,000 annual tax increase for the Fort Plain Free Library. If voters approve the request, through a proposition listed on the school district ballot, the funding will help support the library's operational budget, covering escalating costs such as maintenance and electricity.

The funding will also allow the library, which is currently taking in less money than it's annually spending, to maintain book services, staffing and extensive programming.

Currently, local taxpayers provide the Fort Plain Free Library with $50,000 in annual funding.

A home with a fair market value of $100,000 currently pays a library tax of $22.76.  With the increase, the library tax on a $100,000 home would be $34.13 for an increase of $11.37 per year.

The Canajoharie Library is asking residents to provide $100,000 in annual, community based funding aimed at expanding library services and programs. If the Library Funding Proposition is approved, the average taxpayer (owning a home assessed at $100,000) will pay approximately $28 annually, which equals about 54 cents a week.

The Canajoharie Library is publicly funded at less than 1 percent, or $950 a year, which is unusual in New York State, where the average library receives 50 percent funding from its tax base.

If the funding proposition passes, Director Leah LaFera said the $100,000 would be spent by the library alone, with none of the money being used for museum expenses.

If the funding is approved, the library will be able to maintain regular seasonal hours, expand library programming, which includes live science workshops for kids, adult cooking classes (hugely popular, recently cut), family movie nights, creative writing classes (which fill instantly), and the purchase of new computers and technology instruction.

It will also restore new book acquisitions and expand e-book and audiobook services. It will also provide staffing, including the reinstatement of a part time programming position.

The funding proposition will appear on the CCS school budget ballot as a separate line item.


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