Councilman proposes dedicated funding for Philly libraries

    Mayor Nutter is not expected to cut funds to libraries when he presents his budget to City Council next week. But some council members want to protect libraries from future budget crises. A bill introduced in Council Thursday would give them a dedicated source of funding.

    Mayor Nutter is not expected to cut funds to libraries when he presents his budget to City Council next week. But some council members want to protect libraries from future budget crises. A bill introduced in Council Thursday would give them a dedicated source of funding.
    Caption: Councilman Bill Green
    Transcript:
    The bill would redirect a portion of the city’s property taxes to fund the Free Library system. Councilman Bill Green introduced the bill after learning that other counties throughout the state have dedicated funding for their libraries.

    Green: “Cost neutral to tax payers and prevents libraries from being the whipping boy every time there’s a budget crisis.”

    But Councilman Brian O’Neill says using a specific set of funds for libraries is a slippery slope.

    O’Neill: “Where do you stop? The library is a good cause, so is the rec department, so is the fire department, the police department, you could go on and on.”

    The proposal would divert about $33 million dollars in property tax revenue from the general fund, to pay for libraries. Voters would have to approve the move in a referendum.

    Listen:
    Click on the play button below or right click on this link and choose “Save Link As” to download.

    [audio: reports20090313council.mp3]

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