BCDP takes No Position on Boulder County Electors Issue DD — Boulder Public Library District Formation and Property Tax*:
- Decades of stagnant funding and budget cuts under the current funding model have hobbled the library system. The library needs stable funding to provide basic services as outlined in its Master Plan, and to complete long-planned service expansions in North Boulder and Gunbarrel.
- The proposed library district aligns the Boulder Public Library’s tax base with its service area. 30% of active cardholders live outside of Boulder city limits, but within the proposed district boundaries.
- Colorado statute uniquely allows the formation of library districts, and they are the most common approach to governing and funding public libraries in the state. Other city departments do not have the same district-formation option so forming a library district is a one-off situation for the city.
- The City of Boulder Library System has won national and state awards so why fix something that is not broken? In February 2009, the Boulder Public Library was named a four-star public library by Library Journal, one of the nation’s premiere professional publications. In 2016, the Boulder Public Library won the Colorado Library of the Year recognition awarded by the Colorado Association of Libraries.
- This property tax is an overreach, especially with the other tax issues on the ballot. It will most adversely impact low- and moderate rental-income households, and small businesses, many minority owned, with such a large tax increase. The proponents could have asked for a smaller tax to restore services but instead are asking for a permanent tax that more than doubles the current budget of the library. The tax would generate more than $18M annually compared to the current 2022 library operations budget of $9.18M. For 2023, the proposed library budget is $11.1M, a 21% increase from 2022 compared to proposed increases of 4 and 6% for police and fire, respectively.
For more information on this ballot issue, go to: 2022 BCDP Ballot Measures Guide
*The BCDP Executive Committee did not reach a two thirds majority vote for, or against, this measure, therefore it takes no position.