When we say Boulder libraries have been underfunded for decades…that reality didn’t hit harder, perhaps, than during the onset of the 2020 COVID pandemic, when the library’s budget was slashed as sales tax revenues plummeted. Boulder libraries took 17% of all permanent city cuts, despite representing just 3% of the municipal budget.
Looking at these photos from 35 years ago, when the library sought (and won) a small dedicated tax from city taxpayers, the reason for our campaign really hits home. The underfunding of Boulder’s libraries has been generational. It’s time to stop that.
Library districts provide stable funding because they’re based on property taxes: you pay taxes on what you own, not on what you buy. Sales taxes are regressive and unreliable. They hit low-income folks the hardest. We owe our library more than this relentless pattern of sink and, well sink.
The Boulder Library Champions formed because we can break the cycle of constantly underfunding the library. And because 4 consecutive and unanimous library commissions have agreed on what the solution should be. There’s even *library law* for moving libraries to stable funding. Colorado Springs, Lyons, Fort Collins, Greeley, Erie, Douglas County, Arapahoe, Adams, and many other places have done it.
And what have they done? They’ve all formed **library districts** — the most common form of governance for libraries. 60% of all Coloradoi cardholders are served by districts now. Our opponents say this is a new-fangled thing you should be scared of. But look at the map:
Why has Boulder held out? Here's the zoomed in look of the regions all around the Boulder area. Nearly every other community of Boulder's size and population is now a thriving library district.
The library district is a tax increase on your home's property value, which opponents will vigorously point out this fall. And that’s for each resident to decide on their own. Here’s the breakdown of the basics, including the cost, and what it means for you.
Things of value cost money. Building community takes investment. And polling shows that voters get the value and will support a district at a 3-to-1 margin.
The #LibraryDistrictYES campaign wants YOU to support as well. We want libraries that will serve the needs of the community now, and in the future. Join us here.