“Think outside the box” to fund libraries

library 055Josephine waited 2 1/2 hours tonite for an opportunity to ask council to “think outside the box” to find some way to keep our libraries open. She suggested that The Seattle Public Library try to fund itself like King County Library. Weeks ago, during the Library’s Budget Presentation, Councilmember Conlin wondered if there were some way to change the library’s funding structure. Right now, the library is classified as a “non-taxing authority” and, as such, can’t levy for operational money. All operational money must come from the City of Seattle’s General Fund. Capital maintanence, funds which are also deeply impacted by the budget crunch, must come from the City’s REET (Real Estate Excise Tax). Because The Library is bound to get funds from these sources it is always in competition with other essential services during tough economic times. Changing the funding structure, however, may be a difficult task.

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