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  • Proposed legislation would force closure of 10 library branches

    Feb 03, 2014 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Public Library system would face deep cuts in service under House Bill 2379, which is making its way through the current legislative session.none

    Pima County is providing information on the scope of the funding reductions that would become necessary to provide information to constituents as they weigh the merits of the legislation.

    The bill would cap the library district tax levy at existing levels and then allow only for inflationary growth.

    It costs $35 million a year to run the system’s 27 branches throughout Southern Arizona. This year, the system collected $28.4 million in taxes.

    The County made an intentional decision to hold the tax levy artificially low in order to spend down a $9.5 million fund balance, left over from conservative fiscal management of the system.

    Capping the tax levy at the current $28.4 million level would require the system to find $5.4 million in cuts, since the system does not receive general fund support from the County or from surrounding cities and towns.

    If passed as written, the bill would force closure of 10 existing branches by June 30, 2014 and eliminate several other key services, including computer classes, homework help, book mobile and juvenile detention services. Remaining branches would face reduced service, with the Joel D. Valdez Main Library limiting hours to 40 per week.

    The restrictions would effectively prevent the construction of any new libraries for at least another decade and would force the system into a permanent deficit budget.

    For more information about the bill, including legislative summaries and sponsors, please visit the bill overview page on the state legislature's website.