Magazine article American Libraries

Indiana Bill Second-Guesses Trustees' Budget Decisions

Magazine article American Libraries

Indiana Bill Second-Guesses Trustees' Budget Decisions

Article excerpt

A property tax-relief bill sent to Indiana Gov. Joseph Kernan December 5 includes a provision giving local elected bodies the right to roll back the decision of a public-library board to raise a property-tax levy by 5% or more in a fiscal year. "I'm tired of taking the rap for people who can approve whatever they want and don't have to answer to anybody," bill sponsor Rep. Bob Alderman (R-Fort Wayne) told the Associated Press November 23. The governor was expected to sign the legislation, according to Wendy Phillips, chair of the Indiana Library Federation's Legislative Committee, and would go into effect July 1.

Phillips told American Libraries that ILF officials "understand the 5% growth cap would count operating budgets, bond issues, and capital projects funds." An amendment to narrow the cap's impact to capital-improvement projects was introduced too late in the session to be considered, according to the December 9 Lebanon Reporter.

The legislation affects the 239 public-library systems statewide that lack a majority of trustees who are elected to their library board and specifically excludes school boards and airport authorities whose majorities are also appointed rather than elected. …

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