Arizona: Pima County Public Library (Tucson Area) Considers Closing 4 Libraries to Help Reduce Budget Deficit
From the Arizona Daily Star:
County leaders could close four public libraries and limit hours at eight others in an effort to stave off an operating deficit.
“I think it’s a very sad day when we have to close libraries,” said Pima County Supervisor Richard Elías.
Pima County Administrator Chuck Huckelberry has recommended the closure of Dewhirst-Catalina, 15631 N. Oracle Road; Dusenberry-River, 5605 E. River Road; Geasa-Marana,13370 N. Lon Adams Road; and Santa Rosa, 1075 S. 10th Ave.
The countywide library district is mostly funded through its own dedicated property tax and until this year had enough of a surplus in its fund balance to offset an operating shortfall for the past three years.
Pima County’s libraries have a dedicated funding source through a secondary property tax.
But because property values plummeted in the recession, the library system has been taking in less money but trying to do more.
It’s finally caught up with the system this budget cycle. It’s $8 mil in the red.
A $.06 tax increase might cover half of it but not all.
The state has imposed a ceiling on taxes and anything above the six cents is prohibited.
It’s just a proposal right now but closing the libraries will save only $1.5 million and with the tax increase it does not cover the hole.
The library system cut the number of employees by 24 and consolidated services so there’s not much left to cut.
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About Gary Price
Gary Price (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. He earned his MLIS degree from Wayne State University in Detroit. Price has won several awards including the SLA Innovations in Technology Award and Alumnus of the Year from the Wayne St. University Library and Information Science Program. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com.