Boulder Chamber Opposes Library District Ballot Initiative
Opposition comes after concerns about tax increases on local businesses and residents on fixed incomes, along with loss of direct governance oversight.
Boulder, CO – The Boulder Chamber announced today that it opposes a planned ballot initiative that would create a new independent library district and a new property tax to fund it. “The Boulder Public Library is an amazing resource for the entire community and the Boulder Chamber is dedicated to working with the Boulder community to ensure there is adequate funding to meet current library infrastructure needs and to sustain desired programming assets,” said Jonathan Singer, Senior Director of Policy Programs for the Boulder Chamber. “The proposed library district takes this control away from our City Council and places it in the hands of an appointed governing body while imposing a new financial burden that will fall most heavily on local businesses and residents with fixed incomes.”
As currently planned, the library district ballot initiative will create a separate governing entity for oversight of Boulder’s libraries, managed by an independently appointed board of directors. Funding for the library district will take the form of a new $3.5 mill levy, equivalent to roughly $1,000 on $1 million dollars in commercial property and $243 on a $1 million home.
The Boulder Chamber strongly disagrees with the property tax increases due to the current rise in inflation, economic instability and conditions for homeowners with fixed income. A raise in these taxes will mean increased hardships on community members and businesses that are already struggling to make ends meet.
“The Boulder Chamber is committed to advancing the mission of our libraries,” said Boulder Chamber President and CEO John Tayer. “We recognize, in particular, the important economic vitality role they play as a business information resource and skills development center. That is why we support additional investment in our libraries and welcome the opportunity to work with library advocates on a funding mechanism that avoids imposing such a heavy burden on local businesses and maintains control of our elected leadership over this valued resource.”