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KCMO public library to ask voters for first levy increase since 1996

Posted: 9:50 AM, Aug 15, 2018
Updated: 2018-08-15 14:50:11Z
Library seeks more money from property taxes
Library seeks more money from property taxes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Public Library will ask voters for a levy increase to their property tax bill to renovate libraries, maintain digital options and expand services. 

The proposed levy calls for an extra 8 cents per $100 of the property's assessed value. The library board expects the levy, if passed, will generate about $2.8 million annually. 

This is the first time the library has asked for a levy increase since 1996. Crosby Kemper, director of the Kansas Public Library System, said a lot has changed in libraries during the past 22 years. 

Aside from continuing to rent materials, the library has invested significant amounts in digital technology to connect patrons with job opportunities, healthcare options and teach them computer skills for modern times. 

“The really important thing about the public library is all of this is open for free to everyone," Kemper said. "So, the people at the bottom of the income ladder get their first step toward a better life at the library."

The levy increase will appear on the Nov.. 6 ballot.