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updated: 7/6/2011 11:57 AM

Schaumburg, EG libraries end tax-sharing

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  • The Schaumburg Township District Library, at Schaumburg and Roselle Road.

       The Schaumburg Township District Library, at Schaumburg and Roselle Road.
    Bill Zars | Staff Photographer


The Schaumburg Township District Library board has ended a more than 25-year-old tax-sharing agreement with the Elk Grove Village Library first established to stop some residents from being double-taxed for library service.

As such, the Elk Grove library will lose annual payments that had lately risen above $200,000.

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Elk Grove Village Library board President JoAnn Shafar said she had no immediate comment on the change or how it would be addressed.

The reason for the double taxation of the past was that the territory of Elk Grove Village's municipal library overlapped with that of the Schaumburg Township library. Until a referendum in 1983, residents of the western third of Elk Grove Village belonged to and paid taxes to both libraries.

But by approximately 70 percent of the vote, the residents of that area of Elk Grove Village chose to be members of the Schaumburg Township District Library first. Elk Grove Village stopped taxing those residents for library service while the Schaumburg Township District Library began sharing the tax revenue it received from that area with the Elk Grove Library.

The amount paid to Elk Grove for fiscal year 2011 was $214,570, bringing the total amount over the years to more than $3.4 million. Under the terms of the agreement, one more payment for fiscal year 2012 must be paid in the fall.

Schaumburg Township District Library board President Robert Lyons said increasing financial pressures -- including the library board's decision not to ask for a tax hike this year -- contributed to his board's decision to end the agreement.

"We felt it was unfair to all our taxpayers to give this money away," Lyons said.

"Being a good neighbor ... it just got too expensive," Schaumburg Township District Library Executive Director Stephanie Sarnoff added.

While the Elk Grove Village Library board hasn't decided how to address the imminent reduction in revenue, area libraries' reciprocal borrowing agreement allows them to share services no matter where revenues are going.

"None of the public libraries are in the business of wanting to turn people away," Sarnoff said.

The reciprocal borrowing agreement emphasized the unfairness of Elk Grove Village residents being taxed by two libraries in the early '80s. They already had the right to borrow from any and all libraries in the area after paying taxes to only one.

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