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Watervliet Public Library proposition to appear on May 16 ballot  

Library funding and school budget are completely separate  propositions


Watervliet City School District residents will see a separate proposition for funding to support the local library on the May 16 school budget ballot.

The Watervliet Public Library Board of Trustees recently notified district officials about the proposition, which asks voters to authorize the school district to levy a tax of $150,000 to support the library’s programs and services.

In accordance with state education law, the school district is required to present the library proposition on its ballot. Although the library proposition has nothing to do with the school districts finances, the law requires that the school district allow the library to place the funding proposition on the its ballot because the libary is located within district boundaries. The library is also entitled to use school district voting machines and polling locations upon request.

It is important to note that library expenditures are not part of the school budget. If voters approve the library proposition, the tax revenue collected would go directly to the library, not the school district.

“The library is a separate legal entity,” said Dr. Lori Caplan, Watervliet City School District Superintendent. “Any public funds collected through the library proposition are in no way related to the school district’s budget or school taxes.”

Questions and answers about the library vote


Q.  Why do public and association libraries request funding through a school district ballot?

A.  State education law provides a means for libraries to access voters in the community via the annual school budget ballot or other school vote, in order to levy taxes and use district tax collection services.

Q.  If voters approve the library budget, is the tax money collected for the public library mixed with school district funds?

A.  No, the tax monies are kept separate. Funds collected for the library budget are paid to the treasurer of the library board.

Q.  Is the library taking school taxes away from the school district and students?

A.   No, the school district would collect taxes on behalf of the library as per state education law. The money is in no way connected to the school budget. Library taxes are voted on separately from the school district budget and neither benefit nor detract from the school budget.

Q.  Does the library funding appear as part of the school district budget?

A.  No. Library funds are not included in the school district budget.