Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Suggestion Box

Next week, there will be an added feature at the Circulation Desk. It will be a small suggestion box that will be for patrons to write down questions, make constructive comments, or provide suggestions on how the can serve better. The sheets are small with the OPTION of putting ones name and phone/e-mail address.

The completed sheets will go directly to the Director (no other staff person or patron). This is a way for you to tell us how we are doing, what are we doing we well, or how we can make your experience at the library better.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Property Tax Cap issue

There is an important issue coming up in the November elections on whether Indiana voters will add the current property tax issues to the Indiana Constitution. There was a good article in the Indianapolis Star on this that provides both sides of the issue. The issue for the Star is Monday September 20, 2010 on the front page. The title is "Tax Caps In Constitution? Voters Decide". There is a copy of the September 20th issue at the library or one might be able to locate the article online at the Star's web site (http://www.indystar.com).

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

November Referendum on Property Tax Caps

There is an important issue for government units, libraries, and other public supported institutions in this election year. Indiana residents will have an opportunity with a referendum to vote on whether the current property tax caps should be added into the Constitution of the State of Indiana. If the 2010 Tax Cap Constitutional Referendum passes, the property tax caps of 1% (homeowners), 2% (farmland & rental), and 3% (other property) will become part of the Constitution. The caps are presently law but not part of the Indiana Constitution. For local taxing units, including libraries, the support to provide the services citizens expect and want are primarily based on the amount of tax revenues generated including property taxes.

Regardless of how the tax rates are determined or what resources funds come from, public units such as libraries have the responsibility and obligation to use tax dollars wisely for the taxpayer and community. Recently I attended a workshop where Larry DeBoer, Professor at Purdue University, gave a presentation on the effects of the 2010 tax caps if this law became part of the Indiana Constitution. According to Professor DeBoer, who focuses on local government issues in Indiana, approval of the referendum will not provide additional property tax relief since the tax caps are in place already (DeBoer). Further the inclusion of the property tax caps as a part of the Indiana Constitution will prevent future adjustments in property tax bills above the caps (DeBoer). Across the state, local units of government are facing lower tax revenues and, in many instances, are struggling to make sure important public services are funded. Many government taxing units are looking at increased fees and other options to combat the reduced revenues in property taxes.

Although I understand the argument for the caps, I worry about the inflexibility that results in making the caps part of the Constitution. It may affect the availability of public services provided by libraries and other governmental entities. What will be the long term effects on providing important and crucial services by local governments and tax based institutions? What resources could be tapped to compensate for this lost revenue, including other taxes?

I don’t know the answers, but I know this issue will be prominently on my mind this fall and beyond. If I can try to answer questions on this subject, please let me know.

See you at the library!
Ware W. Wimberly III, Director

Work Cited:

DeBoer, Larry. Indiana’s Constitutional Referendum on Tax Caps, November 2010. Purdue University, Department of Agricultural Economics: August 2010. p. 9.

Computer Classes

The Library is offering computer classes in October and November. The classes will be taught by David Fisher, Instructional Assistant at the Learn More Center. The first class is Friday, October 1st, from 10:30 to 12:00 am. The following is a description of the class entitled "Getting to Know the Computer and the Internet.

The class is intended for people who know very little about computers and the Internet. If you would like to be able to send e-mail or surf the web, but don't know how, sign up for this class to get a start in the right direction. A skilled instructor will be here to teach you the basics and answer your questions.

There is a sign up sheet at the Circulation Desk. There is no charge involved. Due to number of computers to use, there is a limit of 8 people to sign up.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Note of first book, O'Keeffe, in Fall Book Discussion Series

The first book in the Fall Book Discussion series is O'Keeffe by Britta Benke. If have not signed up for our first discussion on September 16th, the book is one that does not a lot of time in terms of reading ahead of the discussion. O'Keeffe is 94 pages long and almost every other page is an illustration. So, don't let the book's length worry you! It is wonderful book to just look at and one should have a wonderful time just learning about Georgia O'Keeffe, her art, and her life.

So, please join us on September regardless of whether one has read O'Keeffe or not.