The Kansas City Public Library’s proposed tax increase passed by a widespread margin Tuesday, providing an additional $2.8 million to the library system annually.
This “yes” vote increases the library’s property tax-based operating levy by 8 cents, its first raise in 22 years. In Jackson County, 69.73 percent voted yes, while 30.27 percent voted no. In Kansas City, these numbers stood at 84.78 percent and 15.22 percent, respectively, with 10 precincts still unreported late Tuesday night.
The library district includes portions of western Independence and Sugar Creek, with two Eastern Jackson County branches – Trails West at 11401 E. 23rd St. and Sugar Creek at 102 S. Sterling Ave.
“The success of the library is because of our wonderful patrons and strong community,” said director Crosby Kemper III. “With this yes vote, the Library will be able to provide even greater access to books, computers, classes and programs.”
With the added funding, the library also plans to expand hours, update technology, renovate or replace existing branches and boost branch collections.
Specifically, planned renovations for the Trails West branch would include refurbishment of children’s areas and quiet spaces, modernized computers and increased weekend hours. Library personnel have also discussed potential expansion of meeting rooms and implementation of a drive-through feature.
For the Sugar Creek branch, planned renovations include new carpet, new paint, upgraded digital resources and improved faxing and copying services.
For a home valued at $75,000, the increase will carry an extra cost of 95 cents per month, or $11.40 each year. For a home valued at $200,000, this cost rises to $2.53 monthly and $30.36 annually.