Kansas City Public Library Will Ask Voters For An 8-Cent Levy Increase | KCUR

Kansas City Public Library Will Ask Voters For An 8-Cent Levy Increase

Aug 15, 2018

Kansas City Public Library officials will ask voters in November to approve an 8-cent raise in its operating levy.
Credit C.J. Janovy / KCUR 89.3

The Kansas City Public Library will ask voters in November to increase the property tax that helps fund its operations.

Library officials announced Wednesday morning that they would seek an 8 cent increase to the 47 cents the library system now receives for every $100 of assessed valuation.

Crosby Kemper III, the executive director of the Kansas City Public Library, says the funding increase is needed to offset funds the library has lost due to Missouri's Hancock Amendment, which limits the amount that personal property can be taxed.

While voters approved a levy of 50 cents for every $100 of valuation in 1996, Crosby says the Hancock Amendment caused it to be reduced to 47 cents.

"It basically catches us up to where we had been, had we not had a lot of money diverted," Kemper says of the proposed increase.

The library's annual budget is about $19.5 million. Kemper says the levy generates around $16 million.

He anticipates the levy increase will generate $2.8 million per year.

The library levy's 50 cent rate was set in 1996 after voters approved an increase.

Alex Smith is a health reporter for KCUR. You can reach him via email at alexs@kcur.org.