Facts & Figures
WHAT WILL BE ON THE BALLOT FOR THE LIBRARIES?
The Garfield County Libraries want to be able to use all their sales tax income.
Currently, State calculations put a cap on the income they are allowed to keep - even though that sales tax was approved by Garfield County voters. So, the libraries are asking voters to remove the cap.
TAXES WILL NOT GO UP
WHAT IS THE STATE CAP?
In Colorado, there is a limit to the income levels that governments like cities, counties, the State itself, and special districts like libraries are allowed to grow from year to year. It is the most restrictive tax and spending limitation in the country.
When the economy is growing, the Garfield County Libraries' income can only grow at a certain rate (which is based on a special State formula using inflation and population rates). If the economy grows quickly, the Libraries have to refund the State calculated "overage."
Additionally, when the economy shrinks, so does the baseline year-to-year calculation the State uses. So, for example, if there is one extremely poor year for the economy, it takes many years for our Libraries to recover - even if the economy itself recovers rapidly.
SO WHAT HAPPENS TO SALES TAXES IF THIS PASSES?
Nothing. This ballot measure will not change sales tax rates or collections.
WHY DO THE LIBRARIES NEED THIS MONEY?
The libraries are now facing a $139,232 refund from 2017, and most likely a similar or larger refund for 2018.
These refunds are required at the same time as the libraries are experiencing other major funding decreases. In 2017, they endured a $1.2 million decrease in property tax revenue, and revenues remained at that same lower level in 2018.
As a result of the income decrease, the book budget was cut in half in 2017 and the libraries are currently able to provide only half as many new books and materials as they have in previous years.
HOW WOULD THE MONEY BE USED?
Using their new Strategic Plan as a guide, the libraries would purchase books and materials with the money that is currently slated to be refunded. Enough money would be added to the book budgets in 2019 and 2020 to double the materials purchased (essentially restoring them to 2016 levels).
During subsequent years, any money retained by this measure would be part of the general fund and allocated based on the strategic plan and current needs of the community.
IT WOULD MEAN MORE BOOKS AS WELL AS EBOOKS, AUDIOBOOKS, AND MOVIES!
HOW QUICKLY WOULD NEW BOOKS BE AVAILABLE?
If the ballot measure passes in November, the books and materials will show up in greater numbers at the beginning of next year.
HOW WILL IT AFFECT ME IF THE BALLOT MEASURE PASSES?
If the ballot measure passes, the Garfield County Libraries would no longer be required to refund the $139,232 from 2017. This means property owners would not see a temporary mill levy credit next year (equating to only $0.425 to per $100,000 of residential property value) and the average homeowner in Garfield County would forgo a refund of only $1.58 in 2019.
With that money, the Garfield County Libraries would be able to purchase roughly 7,000 more books, ebooks, audiobooks, and movies in 2019. Those books and materials would be available for you and everyone else to use.