Library Tax Enacted in Warren County

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

A new library tax will provide more services to Warren County residents and save the Smiths Grove Library.

The tax passed the morning of July 27, 2007, in fiscal court by a vote of 5-to-1. Magistrate Robert Donahoe was the lone "no" vote.

The fiscal court meeting was full of Smiths Grove residents who were for the tax and wanted to keep their library open.

There were also some in attendance who agree that the libraries should be a priority, but they just don't think the new tax was necessary for a service they may not use.

"I think it's one of the worst taxes that there is because it's not sensitive to the individuals situation or the individual economy," Robin Calamaio said.

Calamaio is one of the citizens against the new library tax.

"What I want is the government to let me do what I need to do and then decide where I want to put my money rather than confiscate it straight out through taxes," Calamaio said.

He said he doesn't think a tax that will be based on property value is fair to everyone.

"For people on a fixed income or declining income, or individuals that lose a job or have some other financial crisis in their life, that tax doesn't go away. It just continues to increase," Calamaio said.

Don Loiacano admits he doesn't know much about the new library tax.

"Other than how it effects the library, I don't have an opinion on it," Loiacano explained.

But what he does know is how the library system impacts his family.

"The library is part of our family. They're our friends, because they're helping us raise our child," Loiacano said.

He and his daughter, 2-year-old Maureen, use the libraries in Warren County all the time.

"In good weather, bad weather, indifferent weather - we are at the library," Loiacano said.

While he's okay with paying the new tax as long as his family is still able to use the local libraries, "I can't stress how important the library system is to us," Loiacano said.

Calamaio said he would rather not have to pay for a service he doesn't always use.

"I would much prefer people who, for whatever services that they want, that they pay for it," Calamaio said.

Judge Mike Buchanon said it isn't for sure yet how much the library tax will be.

They must first figure out the revenue needed to operate the program, along with the property value of the homes in Warren County.

Once they have this information the tax rate can be set.

The new tax will take effect next year.

Also in fiscal court on July 27, magistrates approved the final reading to establish a tax increment financing, or "TIF" district. This would support portions of downtown redevelopment around the 14th street area and the square.

Magistrate Tommy Hunt was the lone "no" vote.

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