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I contribute to the support of the public library in Placerville through property taxes and personal contributions so I think I can make comments and suggestions concerning the financing of our library. My recent copy of the “Between Friends” newsletter, from the El Dorado County Friends of the Library, starts with commentary on the failure of Measure L to be passed in the November 2012 election. The county does not seem to have the funds, or maybe just does not want to spend the money to keep the Public Library operating. Instead, they keep putting tax measures on election ballots and the supporters of these measures say it is only a few dollars more on your tax bill. The Friends of the Library newsletter is asking for $17.58 per (person, household, property owner?) to keep the library operating. They claim that is what would have been added to your tax bill with the passage of Measure L. Have you seen all the “add-ons” to our residential tax bills as the result of adding just one more important thing to it? What I am reading in the Sacramento paper tells me that the State Legislature may try to give local government power to take an end-around Proposition 13 limits and put more taxes on our residential tax bills.
Well, for the Public Library operating budget, I suggest making it a library operated by a for-profit private company. Yes, no more free ride for non-tax paying residents. Membership fees required to use the library. Mr. Carnegie’s idea of a Public Library was good, as long as he funded it with all that money he made as an American capitalist but the basic homeowner is starting to bend over with fees, bonds and assessments on his/her tax bill. Got a better idea? Put another cent on the sales tax? Somebody get their thinking cap on and put an idea out there. The Public Library can’t continue trying to survive by sucking off the property owners’ tax bills. I haven’t used the Placerville library in years but I keep paying my share to keep it open.