Asks for Levy Increase.
Carthage Public Library is asking that the voters
of the Library District approve an increase in
the property tax levy on August 5th. The increase
would reset the levy at 32 cents per hundred
dollars assessed valuation.
In 1988 the district
approved a levy of 26 cents per hundred dollars
assessed valuation and that was the last increase
the Library has received. The levy generates
approximately $180,000 a year in revenue for the
organization according to County records.
With the new addition to
the library recently completed, the budget for
operating the facility is being severly stressed
according to Library Board President Jim Seitz.
The 32 cent levy would
generate a total of approximately $324,000 per
year. The apparent discrepancy of a 6 cent
increase, as indicated by the ballot language,
creating almost twice the current revenue is
explained by the Hancock Amendment. The amendment
was adopted by the voters on November 4, 1980. As
it applies to this situation "If the
assessed valuation of property.....increases by a
larger authorized percentage than the increase in
the general price level from the previous year,
the maximum authorized current levy applied
thereto in each county or other political
subdivision shall be reduced to yield the same
gross revenue from existing property..."
This means that even though the Library continued
to receive approximately the same dollar amount
each year after 1988, the levy has gradually been
reduced each year to reflect a growing assessment
valuation in the district. The levy actually used
to calculate taxes in 2007 was 17.4 cents per
hundred dollars assessed valuation. The voters
are being ask to not only increase the levy by 6
cents, the affirmative vote would also reset the
voted levy at 32 cents to start the process over
The City of Carthage,
which is a separate political subdivision, agreed
in 2003 to act as the entity to support a sales
tax of 3/16th of 1 percent to finance $2.5
million of the $4.5 million Library expansion
project. The Library was required to secure
private funding for the remaining $2 million of
the now completed Library expansion. The City was
able to adopt the voter approved tax as being a
Parks/Stormwater sales tax with the understanding
that the tax would retire the $2.5 million
certificate of participation (lease purchase) for
the Library. The tax generates more than enough
to pay down the certificate and a portion of the
excess is used to help with operating expenses at
the Library. The City approved a $55,500 request
by the library for operating expenses this year.
According to the
Memorandum of Understanding between the City and
the Carthage Library Board signed in 2003, the
Library Board must ask the voters every three
years for an "increase in the ad-valorem tax
levy for the operations of the Library to replace
a portion or all of the three-sixteenth of one
percent Parks/Stormwater Sales Tax being used for
library operations with additional increments to
be replaced by the ad-valorem tax until such time
as the existing three-sixteenth of one percent
Parks/Stormwater Sales Tax is supplanted or
replaced by the ad-valorem tax." The sales
tax generated $350,700 last year.
The Parks/Stormwater tax
was approved to be in effect for a period of time
not to exceed 20 years. The City will receive any
revenue not used to retire the Library
certificate or for operating expenses.
A public hearing
was held on Tuesday evening prior to the regular
meeting of the Carthage City Council. The hearing
was for the proposed involuntary annexation of
property South of the City limits including the
Southwind Acres subdivision. The public hearing
was required by state statute as a part of the
process of municipally-initiated annexations.
Tom Short prefaced the hearing by outlining the
plan of intent for the annexation. Short listed
the City services that would be provided to the
area if it is annexed, and indicated a timeline
of when the services would be available. Short
also explained the election process for the
annexation, saying that a majority of votes would
be required not only in the City but also in the
Southwind Acres area, which would be tabulated
separately. If a majority of votes is not
received in both areas, then a second election
would be held, in which 2/3 majority would be
required in both areas combined. The area is
approximately 31 acres in size and is surrounded
by City property.
resident Nancy Troyer showed a petition and told
the Council that residents of the neighborhood
had signed the petition to oppose the annexation.
dont want to be annexed," said Troyer.
"Thats the answer we were getting at
every door that we knocked."
seconded Troyers statement and also
addressed concerns about the effects of growth in
the area. Rush said that he felt some of the
water drainage problems in the neighborhood were
due to commercial construction on the South end
being over-built in that area," said Rush.
"We were there first."
Jane Hale of Hale
Fireworks expressed concerns about her stand that
sells fireworks in the area. Hale inquired if she
would still be able to operate if the area is
incorporated into the City.
Mayor Jim Woestman
said that the fireworks issue had been noted by
City staff and was being taken under
consideration. Woestman said there was a
possibility that the City would begin allowing
the sale of fireworks inside City limits in the
requested an additional meeting to further
discuss the proposal, after the residents have
had time to review the Citys plan of
intent. Mayor Woestman responded that it would be
possible to schedule additional meetings with the
During the regular
meeting Council members unanimously approved the
second reading of an ordinance providing for the
Council also heard
the first reading of an ordinance authorizing the
inclusion of the 1/2 cent economic development
sales tax on the ballot for the November 4th
election. The tax would have a 10 year sunset.