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Supporters Rally Downtown For Special Library Taxing District Straw Ballot

Cyd Hoskinson

Supporters of a straw ballot measure to take library funding decisions away from the Jacksonville city council by creating a special independent taxing district held a rally Tuesday morning in front of the public library downtown.

The proposed taxing district would be run by a five member governing board made up of the mayor, three city council members and the chair of the Duval County School Board.

In addition to having the final say over how library funds are spent, the panel would also have the authority to raise property taxes and issue bonds.  Brenda McNeiland said the idea is to make sure money the city allocates for libraries isn’t spent on other things.

“My husband and I often use the libraries and think it’s very important that they stay well stocked with materials and that the buildings be maintained and that the source of funding be protected from raiding by other parts of government,” she said.

Last week, the city’s finance committee voted to close the Maxville library branch because of budget concerns.  

The straw ballot measure will be on the August 26 primary ballot.  

Supporters say if the non-binding referendum is approved, the creation of an independent library taxing district could come before voters in November.

You can follow Cyd Hoskinson on Twitter @cydwjctnews.

Cyd Hoskinson began working at WJCT on Valentine’s Day 2011.