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Council Balks at Library Tax for November Ballot, Says Maybe 2011

Photo by Matt McGrath Photography via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
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Voters in the City of Los Angeles will not get to have a say on the November ballot in regards to a parcel tax whose revenue would in turn help fund the cash-strapped Los Angeles Public Library system.Once a supporter of the plan, Councilman Tom LaBonge admitted yesterday that now isn't the time for such an endeavor, and the Council voted to revisit the issue later and consider putting it on the March 2011 ballot, according to KPCC.

Part of what held the measure back was its cost--not the tax itself, but simply the cost of putting the measure on the County ballot, since they are in charge of the November vote. That $4.2 million would be better spent elsewhere in the city right now, says LaBonge, echoing the findings of an earlier report on the issue. When the city runs the election come March 2011, the cost to get the "library tax" measure on will be "minimal."

Until then, LaBonge and other councilmembers will continue to look for alternative ways to raise funds to support the library, which has been forced to lay off staff and reduce hours of operation in the face of a dramatic budget cut.