Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
Although the Library will be making its first appearance on the latest tax bills, I want to make sure Caldwell residents know this is not a new or additional tax. In fact, the rate for minimum library funding has not changed since it was set in 1844.
“This law simply changes the way your tax bill looks,” says Library Board Chair Bernard McGovern. “It does not increase taxes.” Until this year, minimum library appropriations were part of the municipal tax rate. In March, a new law created a dedicated line item for libraries. Caldwell’s minimum funding requirement of “1/3 mill”, which means at least 33 cents per $1,000 of assessed value, has been in effect since the late 19th century.
The new law provides transparency. “Now residents throughout the state can see the minimum library funding on their property tax bills,” explains McGovern. While this does reduce the municipal tax levy and rate (by breaking out the library line item separately), it does not increase taxes or change existing financial, operational, personnel, or other relationships between the town of Caldwell and the Library.
For the average Caldwell taxpayer, the new tax line will be about $160 per household. “Your library card opens up a world of services -- books, databases, programs, computers, videos and music -- for you and your family,” continues McGovern. “Just taking out a few books or videos each year will cover your library tax.” The Library website -- http://www.caldwellpl.org/ -- includes a Library Value calculator that can help you make sure you are getting your money’s worth.
Your Library is More than Books
The Caldwell Library is the heart of our town. It's the first place where people new to Caldwell come and it's the place where generations of Caldwell families area have learned to read, to work together and to appreciate our wonderful community.
Since it opened in 1917, the Caldwell Library has had an impact that far exceeds its size. The mission of the Caldwell Public Library is “to provide our diverse community with a wide array of literary, cultural, historical, educational and social resources through personal service and innovative programs utilizing a range of learning technologies in a welcoming environment."
FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION
- New Jersey Library Association website: http://njla.org/statements/municipaltax_faq.pdf
- Library Use Value Calculator: http://ldb.njstatelib.org/libvaluecalc
- Local Finance Notice, NJ Division of Local Government Services http://www.state.nj.us/dca/lgs/lfns/11lfns/2011-14.doc