Staff Picks: Books
Staff-recommended reading from the
Several weeks ago, I wrote about library funding threats with the proposal to eliminate personal property tax. The issue continues to receive media attention across the state but most of the coverage does not mention that personal property tax (PPT) is a critical source of local library funding.
The legislature will take up this issue in January. The library community is committed to informing our legislators and our patrons of the importance of this revenue source and what it would mean if it was eliminated and not replaced.
Personal property tax is a tax paid by businesses, not individuals or homeowners. It is based on the tangible or physical assets of a business such as office furniture, computers, industrial machinery and equipment, copy and fax machines. It is not a tax on land and buildings.
About 10%, $1.2 million, of our revenue is from personal property tax. If PPT was eliminated and not replaced by a guaranteed, stable funding source for libraries, KPL would be forced to make significant reductions in our programs and services, in addition to those we have already made. We would further reduce services hours at all locations, eliminate adult programming and reduce youth programming, have fewer public computers , buy fewer new materials…..basically all services would be reduced, with some eliminated.
KPL, like most libraries, is increasingly busy. Our circulation is up 31% in the first six months of the year; computer use, patron assistance, attendance at events – all up.
The library community is advocating “replace, don’t erase” the personal property tax. If eliminated, it needs to be replaced. Our board of trustees has adopted a resolution supporting that approach.
Please ask your state representative or senator to fully replace the tax, consider writing a letter to the editor, and share this library threat with others.
Replace Don't Erase
The “best of” lists are out in full force. Along with these lists, nominations for awards for 2011 books, music, and movies are also being announced.
Many KPL staff are sharing their favorite books, movies, and music from the year to support our priority of “reading, viewing, and listening for pleasure.” Our lists, along with ones from previous years, are on our website.
I freely admit I am not current on music or movies, but I think I am current on books until I see these lists. I realize how many titles I haven’t even heard of that are staff favorites. I’ve also learned whose reading interests are similar to mine – I’ve likely to enjoy the book if it is on their list.
What was your favorite from the year?….a new book, an older one you had missed….doesn’t matter. Please share!
I hope the new year provides time and opportunity for reading, viewing, and listening for pleasure for you. Best wishes.
Best of 2011
It is the time of year when we all received many solicitations for a wide range of good and worthy causes.
The library does not conduct an annual fundraising campaign nor send out a solicitation request but, of course, donations are always welcome and greatly appreciated.
Unfortunately, from our perspective, charitable contributions to nonprofits, like the library, were eliminated in Michigan’s tax reforms for 2012. That means this year, 2011, is the last year your cash donation to the library could earn up to a 50% Michigan tax credit.
Currently, a maximum gift of $400 to the library by a married couple filing jointly earns a Michigan tax credit of $200. With the similar federal deduction, the actual cost of that $400 gift is just $76.
A donation to the library can be designated for a specific collection, such as large print or children’s; a location such as your neighborhood branch; or a service such as Ready to Read, Reading Together, adult programming. Undesignated gifts are directed where they are needed most.
We appreciate if you think of the library when you are considering your year-end giving, keeping in mind the change in the tax laws for next year.
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