Endorsement: 'No' on Fox River Valley library increase

The Daily Herald Editorial Board
Updated 10/21/2016 9:50 AM

Fox River Valley Public Library District officials once proposed spending $40 million to build a new library and improve an existing library. A task force said, essentially, the district should be more reasonable and downsize expectations. The result was a 40 percent reduction in project size and scope, but that would still mean a substantial tax increase -- $140 for the owner of a $200,000 home -- for the people of East Dundee, West Dundee, Carpentersville, Gilberts, Sleepy Hollow and parts of Algonquin.

Earlier this year library Director Roxane Bennett said: "Until we know this is something the community is supporting, we're not wanting to spend a lot of money on design." A survey was mailed in June to nearly 17,000 registered voter households. A little more than 10 percent were returned and the overwhelming response: No way.


The reaction of respondents to the price tag was 62 percent negative and 24 percent positive. The No. 1 reason, in a runaway led by 46 percent of respondents, was a concern about the northbound direction of tax bills.

The district says in the last 10 years there have been big increases in circulation and program attendance, and it's out of room to address current needs.

The problem is the people footing the bill have not responded in a way that says they need a new library. And if they don't need it, they won't want to pay for it.

We recommend a "no" vote on this tax increase.

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