CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- The Kanawha County library system will ask the school system to let it pursue another property tax under its authority as part of the Nov. 2014 general election.
This is on the heels of a special election in which another excess levy -- a joint property tax to benefit both the school and library systems -- was overwhelmingly defeated last November.
But this new proposed tax would benefit only the library, eliminating the school system from the scheme. Library officials think the library may be able to secure more public support on its own.
"The recent defeat of the excess levy that combined support for the library and the Kanawha County Board of Education has resulted in an outpouring of support for the Library and dismay at the potential loss or severe reduction in services," library board president Mike Albert wrote in a draft letter to the school board.
"We ask that the library be given the opportunity to translate this support into the passage of a levy in support of library service."
Albert and other library officials hope to approach the school board about the proposal at their February meeting.
In the meantime, library officials are looking at the myriad ways they can try to cut costs to counter the loss of nearly 40 percent of their funding.
That loss is the result of a state Supreme Court decision that found the 1950s law forcing the school board to help fund the library system was unconstitutional, dissolving a decades-old funding relationship and leaving the library system scrambling to come up with around $3 million, or 40 percent of its operating budget.