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Grayslake Library Approves $3.2 Million Tax Levy

Earlier this month, Grayslake Area Public Library trustees voted 6-1 approving a $3.2 million tax levy for 2012, which represents a 5.1 increase over 2011.

The rising cost of providing materials in ever-popular electronic formats, from books to music, is one of the reasons the Grayslake Area Public Library has had to increase its tax levy for 2012, said Library Director Roberta Thomas.

"Our patrons are requesting more materials in electronic formats which means we are buying in both print and electronic formats – and the book publishers have been known to price the eBook at three times the cost of the printed book. Patrons also are asking for downloadable music and electronic magazines," she said.

"If we did not increase our tax levy, we could not purchase additional materials in these increasingly popular formats."

Other expenses

The library also anticipates having to replace much of the facility's carpet, which had a 10-year expected lifespan but has been maintained for 16 years. The replacement costs are to be spread out over at least two budget years, said Thomas.

"And then, like everyone else, we are facing increasing costs for insurance, utilities, small raises for the staff and general operating expenses."

Ninety percent of the library's funding come from property taxes. The remainder, said Thomas, comes from interest, overdue fines, photocopying and printing revenue and gifts from the Friends of the Grayslake Library, the Grayslake Library Foundation and individual donors.

The library is limited in how much it can seek to increase property taxes to 5 percent or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower. The rate of inflation is determined by CPI (Consumer Price Index). This year's CPI is 3 percent. Last year it was 1.5 percent.

At a meeting earlier this month, the library board voted 6-1 to approve a $3.2 million tax levy for 2012, an increase of $155,000 or 5.1 percent over 2011. This would equate to an increase of about $13 a year for the average homeowner.

However, the library anticipates a levy extension of $3.1 million, which would cost the average homeowner another $8 per year.

"It's not a large amount," said Thomas. "Anyone checking out one DVD from the library instead of purchasing it would more than make up for the difference."

Last year, the library levied for $3.17 million, but was extended $3 million.

Fund increases/decreases

The library's Corporate and Special Funds account for $2.8 million of the total 2012 levy request, an increase of 6.8 percent over 2011.

The Building Bond account for about $395,000, a decrease of 5.6 percent from last year.

"The building bond payments are decreasing," said Thomas.

"The payment schedule was determined when the bonds were refinanced at lower interest rates a number of years ago. This is the last year we will levy for the building bonds. They will be paid off June 30, 2014. That will save the taxpayers about $400,000 per year starting with the 2013 levy."

mikea November 29, 2012 at 08:04 PM
It's $13/yr for all tax payers even if they never enter the library. How about charging THE USERS of the resource? Make a library card have fee of $50 a year, and yeah, leave it as still free for those who can't afford it.
Grayslake Fan November 29, 2012 at 08:37 PM
Brad Faxton-please run for any office where people can watch you in action. I would really enjoy it. You are critical on EVERYTHING, so why not be part of the solution instead of screaming from the sidelines. Run Brad Run!
Local November 29, 2012 at 11:34 PM
Hey sad Brad, if you want to contribute more of you're considerable wealth to the Grayslake library, by all means go for it. If I want to buy five dollar cups of coffee, with MY MONEY, instead of having more of it forceably taken from me, for things I don't support, I will!! So please, donate some of the Faxon dynasty to the GLPL, so they'll leave the rest of us alone.
Mike November 30, 2012 at 01:15 AM
If the patrons want electronic copies the patrons Should pay the extra cost. Property taxes are running wild. $8 a year $13 a year...what ever the amount every little increase adds up. Cuts are needed not increases.
Pete December 01, 2012 at 05:48 PM
Just another example of the Grayslake area tax culture. Need more funds, just tax the poor working stiff that has no choice. I agree with Mike, charge a yearly membership fee for those that want to use the library. Give me the choice to use those services. Real Estate taxes going up, car registration fees going up, library tax going up, who else jumps on the tax bandwagon? Why not, seems to be the easy way to figure out a budget. Wish I could do the same with my household budget...instead, I have to CUT things, or get a second job!

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