Supports renewal, not additional mills for library
To the Editor:
I was part of the board that started the District Library back in
2003, and I agree that it is a great community asset. While I fully agree that the existing library millage should be renewed, the ballot asks for additional revenue above a mere renewal, and the second question on the ballot is for additional millage to "fund library operations.”
A quick look at the June 2012 Library Financial Statement shows that the library has amassed about $2.2 million in cash and investments, of which $1.2 million is in cash. This does not include the buildings etc., but just money in the bank. With expenses of $787,900, the library could run for three years with zero revenue (not that this would be advisable).
With the current millage and depressed real estate assessed values, the library has been stashing away cash at a rate of about $136,000 per year. On the expense side, the library spends $6.16 on salaries and benefits for each dollar spent on books.
Based on the finances, it appears that no one is in danger of losing the library. I think the library should just ask the voters for a straight renewal of the existing millage that it has run on for the past ten years while accumulating substantial cash reserves, and not be asking for more money.
While emotional appeals are always wonderful, many people in Tecumseh are struggling with taxes, higher gas costs and other expenses and are not able to amass large sums of cash (like the library) in order to pay higher taxes. Anyone can look at the library financial statement at the following address: http://www.michigan.gov/documents/treasury/468010TecumsehDistrictLibrary...
David J. Abraham