Questions and Answers
Q. Is this a tax increase?
A. No, this is a REDUCTION in property tax, almost a 10% decrease in the library levy.
Q. What does the library levy pay for?
A. Public property taxes account for 91% of the library’s total operating revenue. This provides funds for our operating budget that pays for staff, facilities, services, and collections.
Q. Are there any other alternative sources of funding?
A. The State of Missouri provides less than 2% of our income, and this allocation has been slowly decreasing. We also have income from copies, fingerprinting, and passport processing, but it is not a significant amount of funding.
Q. Why does Buchanan County have two library districts?
A. St. Joseph Public Library and Rolling Hills Consolidated Library are two separate library districts, one is primarily the city and the other is mainly for the county. Each has its own levy and each operates separately from the other. The two districts do not charge each others' residents any out-of-district fees for services. We also collaborate and cooperate often to bring the best possible library service to our area.
Q. Why do we need libraries anymore with the internet?
A. Not everything on the internet is free or true. Library staff can help you navigate the internet and be more confident in the answers you find. We now know that foreign influences and other bad actors are constantly trying to manipulate us over the internet and social media. Our library teaches classes on how to protect yourself and how to tell fact from fiction online. Modern full text books and complete feature films are not available on the open internet and will likely always be behind a paywall of some kind. Libraries provide internet access for those in the community who cannot afford their own connection at home. Without us, many people could never write and print a resume, apply for a job, or see pictures of their grandchildren hundreds of miles away.
Q. How do I know if I live in the Rolling Hills Library district?
A. The library district you live in is listed on your voter registration card and and on your property tax statement. All of Andrew County is in the RHCL district. All of Buchanan County is as well, except for the area within the 1965 city limits of St. Joseph. In general, if you live east of Leonard Road, south of Parker Road, or south of Menard's, you live in our district and can vote on this ballot issue. If you live on the outskirts of St. Joseph, check out this map for the boundaries. Everyone lives in just one library district and only pays taxes to one library.
Q. How does this affect me as a taxpayer?
A. This will LOWER the amount you have to pay for public library taxes. Property tax is assessed on both homes and on personal property like cars, trucks, and boats. Any property tax levy, including this library levy, is assessed on all of your property. All property is taxed at the assessed value, not the market value. Different types of property are taxed at different percentages of the assessed value. More information can be found at: https://stc.mo.gov.