Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Library Referendum - Fact and Fiction - Part 3

Bradley University, with a very large collection of all types of media and reference material, is open to any person with a Library card. Not only is the entire library open to card holders but there are four computers for public use. Bradley has the most extensive hours of any library in the area. Hours are 7:45 A.M. thru 12:00 A.M. Monday thru Thursday. Friday until 8:00 P.M. Sunday from 12:00 noon until 2:00 A.M. That’s right P.M. till A.M. and open to the public.

Barnes and Noble and Borders are open earlier than any public library and open more hours for all except Bradley. You can visit either bookstore and browse from opening to closing and never spend a dime. When you want to leave, just leave your materials on the floor, or wherever you wish. No one will ever ask you to leave.

I note that the Peoria Public Library wants to put in coffee houses to compete with the public sector; this sector supporting competition with their own tax dollars. Not only do the public libraries get most of their money from property taxes, they apply for and receive large dollar amounts from grants which are almost all taxpayer funded.

The library wants to put in more deep comfortable seats in the Downtowns Library. Think about that for minute especially since the library is open to anyone and there are supposedly a lot of homeless people living downtown.

It appears to me that prominent people have been pressured into supporting this tax guzzling $35,000,000.00 on the basis of who could say no to libraries. I asked quite a sizeable number of friends and acquaintances whether they supported libraries and they said yes but had not visited on for several years. None of then had collected information over the years like I do and were astounded at the $35,000,000.00 capital funds being sought. These are not operating expenses, money for those expenses are collected every year. Look on your real estate tax bill to see what you pay for library taxes. My library taxes were $236.00 in 2005 and if the library gets the council to approve this funding; my library taxes will go to over $300.00 and increase every year.

Consider that #150 will borrow $60,000,000.00 to build new schools; the one proposed at Glen Oak Park would cost over $22,000,000.00 alone. Every taxing body in the area from I.CC., Townships, Airport Authority, our local bus and transit system (whose cost have risen dramatically in recent years), the Park District, the County and the City and probably one new taxing body I omitted, will raise your taxes each year. Couple with rising electricity rates and gasoline prices not to mention the rising costs of grocery products produced from corn; corn now in great demand to use as a highly subsidized fuel, subsidized again with your tax dollars and figure what our taxes will be in this community in the next decade. I guarantee that unless we build our tax base with new profitable businesses, Peoria may be a good place to visit but not live.

This concludes Part 3 but expect at least one more as I continue to gather information and receive input. I support libraries but cannot support this $35,000,000.00 oversold and under planned plan.

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