Supports library, but not its levy

Supports library, but not its levy

Letter to the Editor,

The Wayne County Public Library is asking for a property tax increase on this Nov. 8 election. After receiving its Five Year Forecast budgeting spreadsheet via public records request, this increase appears to be unnecessary for its financial needs, and it's suspect as to why they would be seeking such a significant increase at a time when many citizens are already struggling with inflation rates.

According to the auditor’s website, in actual costs to the homeowner, this levy is a 23% increase over their initial levy that was passed in 2017. According to its own budget documents, over the past three years the library had a surplus of $1.7 million, making an increase seemingly unnecessary and borderline absurd. However, the library budgeted for a 35% increase in spending in this fiscal year of 2022. This increase includes a 17% increase in personal services.

This theoretical budgeted increase now shows the library will have a deficit, and that is why they are asking for more money. Last year the library spent $472,000 per month and still had a surplus of $672,000 at the end of the year. The most significant increases in spending for the 2022 year are in the categories of personal services, contingency and transfers out. It seems prudent to use discretion when looking at a 23% tax increase for our already well-funded public libraries.

As a homeschooling mom, I absolutely want to support our libraries and do not disagree with the sentiment seen on the signs around town stating “We love our library.” However, supporting, loving and appreciating an entity does not mean we must significantly increase our taxes with no questions asked, leaving the request completely unchecked. Furthermore, some of the content entering the WCPL system in recent years, specifically directed at children, is not what I want to be contributing my hard-earned dollars toward.

Regardless of how you personally feel about the library, its new tax increase is too much to bear for most Wayne County citizens who are trying to make ends meet during these tough economic times. Please vote no on the Wayne County Public Library levy increase.

Carrie Perkins

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