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posted: 2/6/2012 6:00 AM

'Really necessary' to stop tax sharing? Yes

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Yes, the decision not to renew the arrangement where half the taxes received from the Elk Grove portion of the Schaumburg Township Library District was remitted to the Elk Grove Library was necessary.

In 1979, state Rep. Kay Wojcik recognized that Elk Grove residents west of Route 53 were being taxed by both the Elk Grove and Schaumburg Township District libraries. She drafted a bill, passed by the legislature, to stop this double taxation. The libraries could decide to split the taxes, or either library could request a winner-take-all referendum.

STDL agreed to split, but Elk Grove called for a referendum, and lost. In a spirit of cooperation, STDL trustees decided to remit half the taxes from the Elk Grove area to the Elk Grove Library anyway, so those residents would have full privileges in both libraries.

STDL has honored this commitment for more than 25 years and $3.4 million dollars. During this period, STDL has built a new central library and two branches without going to referendum, all while receiving a coveted 5 star rating.

Starting this year, STDL will dip into reserves in order to maintain services the public has come to expect. We do not want to ask for more taxes in this difficult financial time, so we were unable to renew the pledge with Elk Grove. We owe our obligation to our taxpayers.

The Elk Grove Library has stated that without our remitting taxes, residents in the STDL part of Elk Grove Village will not be able to reserve meeting rooms or have access to new fiction, book clubs or one-on-one sessions with librarians and computer helpers; and teachers in District 54 will no longer get book bags.

All residents of the Elk Grove area of STDL will have full privileges here. In addition, ALL residents of Elk Grove, including those not paying taxes to STDL, will continue to be able to reserve meeting rooms at our library, check out new books, reserve one-on-one sessions with STDL librarians and computer assistants, register for all STDL adult programs, reserve items. District 54 teachers will get book bags.

When our board President Bob Lyons called the president of the Elk Grove library board and asked if there were other areas in which we could cooperate, he was told Elk Grove had no interest except in sharing our revenue.

Robert Frankel

Schaumburg Township District Library trustee

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