Library package tax must come before Marin voters

MARIN COUNTY, CA – A tax on library packages will go before voters in Marin later this year.

The Marin County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to put the tax renewal on the Nov. 8 ballot.

The renewal measure would increase the parcel tax from $58 to $98 for nine years, with a senior exemption and a consumer price index adjustment of no more than 3% per year.

The measure would provide approximately $4.7 million annually for Marin County Free Library programs and services, including maintaining current library hours and 24/7 online access. 7 days, improved reading programs, increased print and digital collections, provision of free internet access, and upgrades to computers and facilities.

MCFL operates 10 branches, a learning bus, and a bookmobile that provide resources to rural areas, farmers’ markets, and places where there is a concentration of seniors. It is part of the MARINet Consortium, a partnership with six other local libraries and two university libraries.

According to nearly 5,000 respondents to a community survey, Marin residents want extended branch hours, more adult and senior programs, facility upgrades and more staff.

“Our community survey speaks to the need for more from the library system,” MCFL Director Lana Adlawan said in a statement.

“Without the passage of the parcel tax and the increase, we will not be able to maintain the status quo. That is what we seek to do in the future: to extend this status quo.”

Spending of tax revenues would be overseen by an independent citizen oversight committee similar to the one in place for the current Measure A.