SOMERSET, Ky, (WKYT) - Libraries are funded partly through property taxes, and this year assessments came back in such a way that the Pulaski County Library Taxing District chose the compensating rate. For someone with a house worth about $95,000, it meant about a dollar more in taxes on this year’s bill.
“So that would have them paying a little less than $64 a year, for library services on their tax bill,” said Pulaski Co. Library Director Charlotte Keeney.
But Barbara Sanders questions the board making the library’s decisions.
“I don’t think they think of cutting expenses. They think of raising taxes. Not a revenue problem, a spending problem,” said Sanders.
Sanders is collecting petitions in hopes of dissolving the taxing district..the group that makes the library's decisions. And she also wants Frankfort to act.
“We hope to change the state law, where there will be oversight. They (the library board) don’t answer to the Fiscal Court,” said Sanders.
But the library director says since more than $9 million in bonds are still owed on the building…dissolving the board will effectively close the library.
“We have people that come in here and use our services because they cannot afford services in their home,” said Keeney, who added that the taxing district being dissolved and the library closing down would be “devastating” for the community.
Yet Sanders counters that any closure would be temporary and that the Pulaski Fiscal Court could pick up where the taxing district left off.
“Sate law says that Fiscal Court can start another taxing district. There are taxing districts all over this state formed by fiscal courts. They work just fine,”says Sanders.
Sanders says she has until Monday to collect 6,500 signatures and even if she doesn’t she believes she has at lease raised awareness on the issue.