The Library is asking residents of Hudson for an increase of $130,000 in community based funding–32 cents per thousand of assessed value. This amounts to an increase of $48 per year for home assessed at $150,000 in the City—92 cents a week, less than a cup of coffee (even at Stewart’s). After the increase, the total funding from Hudson property owners will be $250,000, which is 55% of our current budget and 1% of all taxes you pay.
The Library is asking the residents of Greenport for $35,000 which amounts to $12 for an average home in the Town or 8 cents per thousand of assessed value. For a home assessed at $150,000 in the Town, this amounts to 23 cents a week! This funding will account for .4% of all taxes paid in the Town of Greenport. If the Greenport voters approve this funding, it will account for 8% of the Library’s budget.
Most other libraries in our region receive 75-90% of their funding from community based support.
The funding will not impact the budgets or the tax caps for either the City or the Town because the funding comes directly from the property owners to the Library. It will not take funding away from other local needs and projects.
Community based funding for the Library hasn’t increased in eight years. The only way for funding to increase is for the Library’s Board of Trustees to put a new funding initiative on the ballot. If the voters approve the Library’s community-based funding, the two levels of funding—Hudson and Greenport—will remain the same until another initiative is put on the ballot.
The Library Will Continue to Fundraise
Even if this funding initiative succeeds in both Hudson and Greenport, the Board of Trustees and Library staff will still have to raise over $200,000 to meet our annual costs. The pool of generous people and philanthropic organizations in our community is small. The Library will continue to pursue grants for specific programs such as Junior High after-school tutoring; Early Childhood Health and Literacy Academy, Senior Citizen Oral History Project, Summer Reading and Arts Programming. We need to be sure that we can keep the lights on at the Hudson Area Library, whatever happens to federal and state budgets
There is only one library in New York State that does not receive public funding. All other libraries receive 75-90% of their budgets from community-based funding. If this initiative passes in Hudson and Greenport, our Library’s budget will be supported by the public at just 64%.
Our Library is one institution that is free and open to everyone in Hudson and Greenport. We serve people of all ages and all backgrounds. We entertain, educate, and help people find jobs. The community needs to share the costs to ensure that we can keep on doing so.