Boulder Libraries Scramble for Funding
Almost one million people visit the five Boulder Libraries every year. That increase in library attendance is a tremendous increase year over year during the last decade.
Support from the City of Boulder hasn’t kept up with demand as more borrowers and program attendees increase.
Consequently, library leaders are struggling to just keep the doors open.
This in nothing new. library commissioners have complained for years that the library system is underfunded. Some say as long as 20 to 40 years of this kind of trouble.
Currently it’s a mix of sales and property taxes paying for library operations. The new plan suggests that creating a special tax district utilized in neighboring communities could sustain the current local libraries.
The library system has consistently relied on volunteer staff, rather than paid staff to cut costs.
Funding for the libraries in the area hasn’t changed much since the 2002 budget.
Data shows that around 35 to 40 percent of Boulder library users live outside the city of Boulder. That’s part of the justification to expand the special taxing district pulling funds from increased property taxes out into other parts of the county. This could include Gunbarrel, parts of Niwot and other suburban plains homes.
Boulder may choose to bring the question of a taxing district change to voters later this year.
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