by Marty Cook
Posted 6/12/2014 11:39 am
Updated 3 months ago
Fort Smith will hold a special election Aug. 12 to decide a millage increase to benefit the city’s public library.
On Tuesday, Fort Smith’s city directors voted 5-1 in favor of the special election instead of putting the issue on the ballot in November. The library requested Aug. 12 as the date for the special election.
If the ordinance passes, the property tax millage designated for the library will increase from one to three.
Library officials said the public library receives $1.4 million in millage. Director Jennifer Goodson said the millage increase would represent a tax increase of $20 to $60 for every $100,000 of property value.
Goodson said the library millage has been at one since 1957 and is one of the lowest in the state.
"No one likes new taxes, myself included, but we feel like we have a plan that will benefit every member of the community," Goodson said. "This is really a plan to position the library to serve the community for years to come. We don’t want to have to go to the voters again any time soon."
With the expected increase in funds from $1.4 million to $4.2 million, Goodson said the library would be able to get additional books and DVDs and faster Internet service. Goodson said the library would also be able to expand its services with such amenities as installing a technology center, putting book kiosks throughout the city and converting the library’s unused bookmobile into a traveling "Story Book Bus" to visit preschools and daycare centers.
"We want to do more and better of what we do," Goodson said.