Here are the facts about issue 6C

The future of our library is too important to get the facts wrong. We've had to battle a few persistent myths from opponents, and we want to highlight them here. Learn more about the facts here

A chart showing facts versus fiction about the library measure.

 

Our library needs stable, reliable funding.

Our Boulder Public Library is beloved for its excellent service, innovative offerings, and commitment to the Boulder community. 2019 was the last year our libraries had normal operating hours that weren't cut by the pandemic, and that year it welcomed over 1 million visitors. Over the years, Our Boulder Public Library's popularity has continued to grow by leaps and bounds. Unfortunately, funding and staff have not grown to meet the demand for existing and new library services. 

By creating a library district via measure 6C, our Boulder Public Library would be funded through a dedicated property tax rather than competing with other city departments every single year. This would provide reliable, predictable funding and the ability to confidently plan for the future to create even better library programs and services for our community. Library districts are now the most common form of governance and funding for Colorado libraries.

The Boulder Daily Camera's editorial board explains why a library district makes sense for Boulder in its endorsement: Libraries aren't cheap, but they're worth every penny. 'Yes' on 6C

Why we are advocating for measure 6C to form a Boulder Library District

Analysis shows that while most households in Boulder have library cards, nearly 40,000 cardholders live outside the BScreenshot of the Boulder Library District map showing the boundaries of the districtoulder city limits. No other library system of Boulder’s size has a similar, disproportionate number of cardholders living outside the library’s boundaries. This map illustrates where patrons live relative to the district boundaries as originally proposed.  

This interactive map shows the proposed library district boundaries, and allows viewers to search for their address to see if their property lies within the district's boundaries. The search function also provides an estimate of the dollar amount of the property tax that would be assessed against that property.

With a library district, we can better match the patron base to the funding base, offering the most equitable, reliable and accountable approach to funding.  Every other library in Colorado similar to Boulder in size and patron base is now a library district.  

A single purpose library district enhances taxpayer accountability because its leadership is focused solely on the library. The Trustees would be appointed by City Council and the County Commissioners, providing a degree of ongoing control over library decision making by our elected officials. The library’s community assets remain in service to the community, directly maintained and invested in by the district at the direction of the library Board of Trustees. 

How much property tax is needed?

At 3.5 mills, the proposed tax would be about  $2.25/month or $23/year for every $100,000 based on the County Assessor’s “actual value” for assessment purposes. (See Boulder County Assessor explanation for the difference between “actual value” and assessed value.) 

  • A home with an “actual value” of $500,000 would pay $9.62 per month for the library district.

For commercial properties, the cost would be about $98 for every $100,000 of “actual” commercial value. (County Assessor’s “actual value” for assessment purposes Boulder County Assessor explanation.)

 How are property taxes calculated? 

Property is valued in two-year cycles, based on comparable sales identified by the Assessor. The price of other homes sold in your area determine the value of your home. Notices of valuation are mailed to homeowners by May 1 every year and homeowners who disagree with their home’s valuation have until June 1 to protest.

Tax rates in Colorado do not apply to market value but to assessed value, which is equal to a fraction of the market value. That fraction, called the residential assessment rate, is recalculated regularly by the state.  For tax years 2022-2023, the residential assessment rate  is 6.80%  So, if your home has a market value of $500,000 (based on comparable sales), the assessed value is $34,000 ($500,000 x .0175 = $34,000). Your tax rate only applies to that $34,000. https://www.bouldercounty.org/property-and-land/assessor/tax-calculation/ 

To calculate your property taxes: Property Search 

Enter your address or last name in the bar at the top. 

Click on your property. 

On the left menu click on Assessments.

Scroll down to Total Account Value and click on the link to “See breakdown of Mill Levy”

Here’s a helpful article on Property Taxes | Understanding Your Colorado Tax Bill  in the Denver metro area. 

Colorado has some of the lowest residential property taxes in the country, with an average effective rate of just 0.52%. That gives the state the fifth-lowest rate in the U.S, well below the national average of 1.03%. https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/102015/7-best-states-property-taxes-and-why.asp 

FUND OUR LIBRARIES

Boulder Library Champions are campaigning now for YES votes on measure 6C on the November 2022 ballot.