Henderson Libraries proposes 2-cent tax rate increase to counteract 30 percent budget decrease, keep libraries from closing

HENDERSON, Nev. – The Henderson Chamber of Commerce Issues Committee has endorsed the Henderson Libraries Tax Initiative (Henderson Libraries Question 1) for the upcoming general elections.

“The Henderson Chamber’s endorsement is a big win for us,” said Tom Fay, executive director for Henderson Libraries. “The business community demands an educated workforce – especially if it wants to continue to attract new businesses. Public libraries help the local school district to provide that education – for free. We are grateful to the Henderson Chamber for its endorsement.”

To help offset the severe loss in revenue the district has endured, Henderson Libraries is proposing an ad valorem tax rate increase of 2 cents per $100 in assessed property value.

The decline in assessed property value and the related tax revenues have resulted in a 30 percent loss of revenue for the library district over the past several years. Cuts have been made everywhere possible – staff, hours, programs and materials have all been reduced – to keep the district going despite the huge revenue loss, but the district cannot continue to operate all branches and services.

Currently, the library receives 5.75 cents per $100 in assessed property value. With the increase, the library would receive 7.75 cents per $100 in assessed property value. The last time the library received a tax rate increase was in 1991 when Henderson had less than 65,000 residents. Today Henderson has more than 265,000 residents.

If the increase passes when voted on in November, the money will go toward necessary operating expenses (such as utilities, office supplies, building maintenance, etc.) and the purchase of library materials for public use. It will not be used to increase salaries, benefits or personnel expenses.

If the initiative does not pass, the Galleria Library and the Malcolm Library will close and jobs associated with those libraries will be eliminated. Fewer library materials will be purchased for the remaining libraries, causing longer wait times for popular titles. Library hours will likely be reduced further, and some services may be discontinued entirely.

Currently, the Henderson library district receives far less than other Clark County library districts, with Henderson Libraries at 5.75 cents; North Las Vegas Library at 6.32 cents; Boulder City Library at 8.55 cents; and Las Vegas Clark Co. Library District at 9.42 cents per $100 in assessed property value.

Additional info can be found here.

Citizens for Henderson Libraries is a non-partisan group created specifically to support Henderson Libraries Question 1.

For additional information on the Citizens for Henderson Libraries call 702-807-6774.