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Old 07-06-2011, 04:37 PM   #121
theducks
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Awesome! Will it have an olympic size swimming pool or something? (Remembering that $578M high school they built in L.A. while thousands of teachers were being laid off).
No
But it will be 'Green' with a garden/Lawn on the roof

http://www.cityofpaloalto.org/knowzo...rk/default.asp
There is a "green" PDF in the Details section
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:36 PM   #122
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NO! I already pay for it with my tax dollars!
And that's exactly my point.

The fact is, you don't "pay for it." You pay toward it. The tax money you pay isn't enough, but because you pay something, you feel as if you're paying for it all.

If libraries received no government money, people might feel more inclined to donate.

BearMountainBooks: We get the old bait-and-switch all the time here in California. I remember a proposition on the ballot to give several hundred millions of dollars to repair our deteriorating schools. The voters went for it, and the school district immediately began that $500 million dollar construction project for a whizbang new school on top of a field that leaked methane gas. When the school district did that, it effectively killed all school funding propositions for 10 years. The people didn't trust them anymore.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:49 PM   #123
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And that's exactly my point.

The fact is, you don't "pay for it." You pay toward it. The tax money you pay isn't enough, but because you pay something, you feel as if you're paying for it all.
...
Then there is a budget problem and taxes need to be raised to cover the services offered.
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Old 07-07-2011, 12:57 PM   #124
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Then there is a budget problem and taxes need to be raised to cover the services offered.
But that's not happening; hence the suggestion for user fees. My state (Washington) just implemented user fees for all state parks and other state recreational lands. Even though we pay taxes for these, it's not enough.
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:02 PM   #125
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I know, I know. I continue to vote for more money for libraries and schools and my friggin' neighbors keep voting them down!
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:20 PM   #126
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Then there is a budget problem and taxes need to be raised to cover the services offered.
+1

I don't think adding another layer of complexity to the system (taxes + donations + NEW arbitrary fees based on some content types, but not others) is the best solution to the funding problem.
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:26 PM   #127
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Then there is a budget problem and taxes need to be raised to cover the services offered.
If the dollars they took out for the library actually went for the library, it would cover library costs. But having worked there, it appeared to me they received approximately 1/3 of the money that was pulled in for "library tax." Just a guess really, but the point stands:

If they call it a library tax, that money should go to the library, not 12 other pet projects. The tax is higher here because it is tacked onto the water bill than I was paying to join when I wasn't part of the "taxed community." Far higher.

It's a game politicians have gotten away with for too long.
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:27 PM   #128
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+1

I don't think adding another layer of complexity to the system (taxes + donations + NEW arbitrary fees based on some content types, but not others) is the best solution to the funding problem.
Which means libraries will go underfunded, because tax increases aren't going to happen.
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:28 PM   #129
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It's a game politicians have gotten away with for too long.
Remember all the cigarette lawsuit money that was supposed to go towards the health care of the smokers? Pretty sure that was all put into roads and gone within months.
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:29 PM   #130
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But that's not happening; hence the suggestion for user fees. My state (Washington) just implemented user fees for all state parks and other state recreational lands. Even though we pay taxes for these, it's not enough.
And even those fees will be collected and not applied directly to the parks (most likely.) That is the way it works in my city: They apply fees, including late fees and a direct tax on the water bill. ALL of that goes into a general fund and then the pols get to vote where it actually gets spent.

Voting to agree to that fee--or any other--without verbage that REQUIRES the money be spent there is a farce.

New Mexico voted in a lottery--in order to give schools more money. Guess what? The politician says that the lottery funds schools--excellent! All the money that used to fund schools? Goes elsewhere. The net? Slightly less to about the same for schools each year.

NO additional money was raised. They just moved the pea in the shell game. There was no constitutional requirement--or part of the law that required them to keep funding the same or higher. It just meant that lottery money could be spent on schools and all the rest usually allocated there got to be frittered away.
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Old 07-07-2011, 01:47 PM   #131
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And even those fees will be collected and not applied directly to the parks (most likely.) That is the way it works in my city: They apply fees, including late fees and a direct tax on the water bill. ALL of that goes into a general fund and then the pols get to vote where it actually gets spent.

Voting to agree to that fee--or any other--without verbage that REQUIRES the money be spent there is a farce.

New Mexico voted in a lottery--in order to give schools more money. Guess what? The politician says that the lottery funds schools--excellent! All the money that used to fund schools? Goes elsewhere. The net? Slightly less to about the same for schools each year.

NO additional money was raised. They just moved the pea in the shell game. There was no constitutional requirement--or part of the law that required them to keep funding the same or higher. It just meant that lottery money could be spent on schools and all the rest usually allocated there got to be frittered away.
I agree with this, and it's one more reason why ANOTHER layer of funding can be a bad idea.

If you raise taxes to "support libraries" and then next year, the libraries are still struggling, people are going to ask questions. I mean, they just had their taxes raised, they can guesstimate the total extra money that went in and they can demand to know why X amount extra didn't do any good. And then it comes out that, oops, that money "for libraries" didn't GO to libraries, and then changes can be demanded.

If you institute some arbitrary fee for Y content and the library is still struggling next year, what does that mean? Well, it may mean that money got taken from the previous library funds, or it may mean that people stopped renting that Y content type. It's harder to trace, harder to track, and less likely to get people in an uproar than, say, RAISING TAXES FOR SOMETHING THAT THEN DIDN'T GET FUNDED.

Extra complexity = less transparency.
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Old 07-07-2011, 02:05 PM   #132
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I agree with this, and it's one more reason why ANOTHER layer of funding can be a bad idea.

If you raise taxes to "support libraries" and then next year, the libraries are still struggling, people are going to ask questions. I mean, they just had their taxes raised, they can guesstimate the total extra money that went in and they can demand to know why X amount extra didn't do any good. And then it comes out that, oops, that money "for libraries" didn't GO to libraries, and then changes can be demanded.

If you institute some arbitrary fee for Y content and the library is still struggling next year, what does that mean? Well, it may mean that money got taken from the previous library funds, or it may mean that people stopped renting that Y content type. It's harder to trace, harder to track, and less likely to get people in an uproar than, say, RAISING TAXES FOR SOMETHING THAT THEN DIDN'T GET FUNDED.

Extra complexity = less transparency.
That is pretty much what has happened over and over in this city--and guess what? The council pretty much says, "too bad, so sad. We have to make these tough decisions." The ONLY way to hold their feet to the fire is to change the way the laws work. When a vote is passed to add a tax for X, it has to keep current funding (or a percent of it) AND give the new money to X. Because even if you say, 'You must spend it on x" they will--and they'll take ALL the other money away and the funding remains exactly the same as before. From what I could see, the ONLY thing that changed was the council salaries and the addition of a single police officer (which was actually supposed to be a part time librarian. Again, I don't have heartburn about a police officer getting a job, but it's just a bait/switch whether it's justified or not.)
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Old 07-07-2011, 03:02 PM   #133
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Never. Libraries should only charge if an item is overdue, lost, or damaged beyond repair. Libraries have made music and movies available in multiple formats before, including audiobooks on CD. Why would they start wanting to charge for ebooks now? It's all progress of technology enabling people different ways of enjoying a work of art and entertainment.
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