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posted: 8/14/2012 5:00 AM

Library: $16 million on hand pays bills

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To the editor: In the Monday, July 30, 2012 edition, Arlington Heights resident Steve Kopp presents current assets and liabilities figures for the Arlington Heights Memorial Library and asserts AHML has "at least $16 million in excess taxation accumulated."

In order to avoid erroneous conclusions being drawn please consider the following.

• Some might interpret Mr. Kopp's letter as meaning AHML has over $16 million dollars in reserves, but $13 million of this are property taxes held and needing to be applied to running the library. Over 95 percent of AHML's revenue is derived from property taxes, payable in two installments each year. Understandably, the library's cash balance will be very high just after receiving payment, and the balance steadily drops as those funds are used to sustain the day-to-day operation of the library until the next installment arrives many months later.

• The library, like all responsible local governmental entities, does keep a reserve fund so that if property tax bills go out later than they are supposed to, the library has funds to pay bills without having to borrow money through a burdensome and expensive tax warrants process. An amount equal to roughly six months of operating expenses is held.

• Having approved a 0 percent increase over the prior year's extended property tax levy in three of the past four years, the Arlington Heights Memorial Library's Board of Library Trustees is committed to sound fiscal management of our residents' tax dollars.

Jason Kuhl, executive director

Arlington Heights Memorial Library

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