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Library Ballot Measure Should Get Pushed to 2011, Report Recommends

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Photo by Matt McGrath Photography via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr

Photo by Matt McGrath Photography via LAist Featured Photos on Flickr
Los Angeles voters may see a parcel tax measure that would help fund libraries on a ballot next year instead of this November if city budget officials have their way. The Board of Library Commissioners earlier this month approved a $39/year parcel tax for the November ballot that would fund libraries enough to open them six days a week, restore jobs and enhance other programs. But a staff report (.pdf) recommends that the measure be pushed to next year -- not because it would do better then, but there's no budget for it as placing one item on the November ballot costs $4.2 million. Funds, however, are already set aside for the May 2011 election and a library measure would not cost anything.

If city councilmembers go ahead and place the measure on the November ballot, the report recommends having the cash-strapped library pay for it.

Polling has indicated that 68% of likely voters would probably vote yes on the parcel tax, which would raise $30 million annually. Due to budget cuts this year, the library system of 83 locations suffered severely, forcing reduced hours from seven days a week to five days, starting in July.

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The ballot measure will be heard in a Budget and Finance committee today. The Arts, Parks, Health and Aging Committee already approved the ballot measure for November.