Wednesday, April 13, 2011

There is no new library tax in Berkeley Heights

"There is No New Tax or Increased Spending for the Berkeley Heights Public Library

Berkeley Heights Public Library Board of Trustees

Tuesday, April 12 2011

A recent newspaper article suggests that there might be a new tax assessed on Berkeley Heights citizens to support our Public Library. That is not the case. A recent law signed by Governor Christie changes the way our local property tax bill displays how much of our taxes goes to support our local library.

Municipal Libraries, under state law and a citizen’s referendum, receive their support from local citizens via local property taxes collected by the towns. Funding goes into the Town’s general fund and is calculated as part of the Town’s budget CAP. The Town is directed by law as to what that percentage should be and the citizens never see exactly how much is raised to support the Library just like other town services, i.e., police, sewer, etc.

There is no new tax, there is no increased spending, the Town will have Library support calculated out of their CAP so there is no increase in local property taxes. Eventually there will be a different tax bill that shows dollar amount support for our Library.

The Local Finance Board, part of the State Department of Community Affairs, specifically summarizes the new law as follows:

“The law provides a dedicated line item on property tax bill to fund municipal free and joint free public libraries. It does not result in any increased taxes, but changes the way the minimum library appropriation is displayed to the public.”

We invite you to come visit our Town’s Library on Plainfield Avenue. If you haven’t been there in awhile, there’re lots of changes."

Link to the article:

This blog post is a reprint of an article in The Alternative Press

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