The county Board of Supervisors is expected Tuesday to place a measure on the November ballot asking voters to approve a one-quarter cent increase in the county sales tax for the next 15 years to raise about $4 million a year to support library services.
The measure is intended to replace an existing eighth-of-a-cent tax that expires in 2018. That tax currently generates about 65 percent of the county library system’s operating budget, but isn’t enough to sustain the system in the future, according to county Librarian Laura Pappani.
Pappani and the library’s supporters have been leading up this moment for several months, slowly cranking up the publicity machine to remind voters of the value they get from the library. The Union has been doing its part with its “Library Patron of the Week” feature.
The measure must pass with a third-thirds majority, tough sledding in a county that’s adverse to tax increases. To increase its chances of passing, supporters recruited Carol Scofield, wife of Supervisor Ed Scofield, to co-chair the Yes on Measure A campaign.
What makes this interesting is that Ed Scofield received a major contribution to his recent reelection campaign from Eddie Garcia, a local right-wing gadfly who was a vociferous opponent of the effort to increase the property tax for residents of the Higgins Fire District. The tax increase went down to defeat, and Higgins is now cutting back service.
So where do Eddie and his buddies stand on a tax increase that will raise a lot more money than Higgins ever asked for? Stay tuned.