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Bad Time 4 Budget Cuts: Let MCPL Grow!

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Bad Time 4 Budget Cuts: Let MCPL Grow!

We, the undersigned, stand in solidarity with the Independence City Council and oppose the pending proposal to the Mid-Continent Public Library Board of Trustees to lower the Library levy. We urge the Board to support our libraries and the communities they serve by voting NO on this proposal.

From the City of Independence Resolution Bill No. 22-812:

“In 2016 voters overwhelmingly (62.3%) approved a levy increase to provide expanded access, new and renovated buildings, expanded collections, and increased services. Since then, the Library has added hours, most notably Sunday hours, added more e-content, renovated buildings, built replacement buildings, and has added an additional branch. One more branch, East Independence, and two other replacement buildings (Grain Valley and Riverside) are still to come. New services include notary services, new passport services, expanding Wi-Fi into the parking lots, checking out hotspots, laptops and wellness kits, along with virtual programming.

Despite this vital community service, a contingency of the Mid-Continent Public Library Board of Trustees is proposing lowering the Library levy by 2.28 cents for a total of 32.40 cents (current rate is 34.68 cents) which equates to approximately a $4.3 million reduction in revenue effective this fiscal year. Per state statutes, the lower levy, if approved, will be the maximum the Library could collect next year provided the amount is decreased again through state rollbacks or further Board decisions.

With the higher than anticipated increase in assessed values of used cars and real estate, the Library expects to see an increase in revenue. A reduction of the levy rate would eliminate that excess and require the Library to cut planned expenditures. At this time, what would be cut is unknown. What is known is cuts would need to be made immediately for this year with more cuts anticipated next year”.

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