Library tax

Saturday, March 31, 2007 | 12:00 a.m. CDT; updated 7:43 a.m. CDT, Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A tax proposal on Tuesday’s ballot would fund the building and operation of a new library in Ashland and a branch library in north Columbia.

Voter approval would increase property taxes in the Boone County Library District by 21 cents per $100 of assessed valuation from the current rate of 29.86 cents to 50.86 cents.

The owner of a home with an appraised value of $100,000 would pay an additional $39.90 in property taxes per year. The levy would decrease to 45.86 cents in 2017.

Only those residents who live in the Boone County Library District will be voting on the tax. The county district includes all of Boone County except the Columbia and Centralia library districts, which are defined by their city limits established in 1965.

Voters can verify the district they live in by checking their property tax bill. Boone County Library District residents’ bills say “BC Library;” Columbia Library District bills say “Col Library;” and Centralia says “Centralia Libry.”

About 80,000 people live in the Boone County Library District, and just more than 56,000 are registered voters.

The north Columbia location is planned as a 15,000- to 20,000-square-foot building. Library officials are working to secure land at the northern edge of Boone County Fairground that is jointly owned by Columbia and Boone County. One stumbling block to acquiring the land is Waco Road, which would need to be extended in order to access the property. An alternative location would be considered if the acquisition proved problematic.

The library is planned to open in 2011 and is projected to cost $10.49 million, including inflation.

The Ashland library would be built on 2.5 acres the library purchased in 2006. At a proposed 11,000 square feet, it would more than triple the space of the existing Ashland library that is located in a rented building.

The total projected cost of the project would be $5.06 million, and the library would be scheduled to open in 2009.

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