The library will be closed Monday, May 27 for Memorial Day.

Library Tax Levy Ballot Proposition

Many thanks to our community members for passing the library’s proposition. We invite you to come in and explore the range of services your investment supports!

When voters go to the polls to vote on the Skaneateles School District budget on Tuesday, May 21, 2024, they will also be asked to vote on a proposed tax levy increase for the Skaneateles Library. The school district and library budgets are separate and unrelated; however, state law provides libraries the ability to receive support from their local communities by placing a funding proposition on a school district ballot.

The library’s ballot proposition requests a $25,000 increase in public funding for its operational budget to offset increases in expenses, raising the current $378,560 annual levy to $403,560 – an increase of less than $5 for a home valued at $400,000. A homeowner with a house assessed at $200,000 would see an annual increase of $2.49. These funds will help support the library’s services.

Please contact library director Nickie Marquis at 315-685-5135 or nickie@skanlibrary.org with any questions or information needs.


Frequently Asked Questions

The Skaneateles Library Association is requesting an increase in public funding for its operational budget to offset increases in expenses. The requested increase is $25,000, raising the current $378,560 annual levy to $403,560. These funds will help support library operations.

Local tax funds support a portion of basic operational costs (wages, utilities, collections, etc.). Increases in minimum wage and inflation have impacted those costs for the library, just like other organizations and businesses. The current tax levy covers about 73% of the library’s operational budget.

How much each household contributes to the library’s tax levy is based on assessed property value. The following table illustrates what the increase would mean for a range of property values, as well as the new annual totals for these properties. The average and median property values in the school district are $354,924 and $246,000, respectively.

Town of Skaneateles*
Assessed Property Value
$200,000 $400,000 $800,000
Current 2022-23 library levy $37.73 $75.46 $150.92
Increase per household $2.49 $4.98 $9.96
Total 2024-25 library levy with increase $40.22 $80.44 $160.88

 

* Values vary slightly but are very similar for the municipalities of Owasco, Spafford, Skaneateles Falls and Sennett—portions of which are also in the Skaneateles School District.

The library receives an annual levy of $378,560 from taxpayers in the Skaneateles Central School District. In addition to public support, the library relies on income from investments, book sales, donations and grants to meet our community’s needs.

Surrounding libraries request and receive regular increases in public funding to help offset increased expenses. OCPL libraries receive between 75% and 99% of their budgets from local public funds, with the average at around 92%. The Skaneateles Library receives about 73% of its budget from public funding.

The Skaneateles Library is an association library incorporated on October 20, 1877 and first chartered by the New York State Education Department on April 20, 2009.

There are four types of libraries in New York (association, municipal, school district and special district libraries). Library type depends on how the library was established, which in turn dictates how it is governed and able to raise funds.

The library board is composed of community members who volunteer their time and skills to ensure the future of the library. The main functions of the board are to set library policies, maintain the financial health of the library and uphold the library’s mission.

The library’s proposition is unrelated to the school budget. New York State allows association libraries to ask residents of a school district or municipality for funding by ballot proposition, which is approved by majority vote. This method gives residents a direct say in the level of funding their local library receives.

The library budget is completely separate from the school budget. The district merely collects funds approved by the voters and disburses them to the library. School taxes fund the schools, and library taxes fund the library. School and library taxes appear on the same bill and are paid at the same time, but the school district and the library are two separate entities.

If the proposition is not approved, the library will continue to receive an annual levy of $378,560, which is the amount last approved by voters. That amount will be levied annually until a new proposition receives voter approval.

No. In fact, the Skaneateles Library pays OCPL for services, such as the circulation system, online catalog and materials delivery. Each library in the system is its own entity, and its local community is responsible for financial support. Neither OCPL nor the county government fund libraries outside the city of Syracuse.

We have just over 6,000 cardholders and serve a population of 9,000 school district residents. Find our latest report on how our community uses the library, as well as a breakdown of our current budget, here.

It is likely that levy increases will be requested in the future to support cost increases. Things like minimum wage and payroll, insurance, utilities and materials will inevitably cost more over time. Many libraries request small “cost-of-living” increases annually or bi-annually to ensure financial sustainability and continuity of service. However, any future request must be approved by voters.

Yes. The tax cap limits annual levy growth to the lesser of 2% or the rate of inflation, subject to certain limited exemptions and adjustments for growth in the full value of taxable real property.

The Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) is expected to make the library’s 2024-25 fiscal year tax cap data available in mid-April 2024.

An association library board can propose a tax levy that exceeds the tax cap with a 60% vote of their total board; after considerable planning and evaluation by the board’s finance committee, Skaneateles Library trustees unanimously approved a tax cap override – in the event that it is needed – at a regular meeting on December 12, 2023. The proposed levy must be approved by a simple majority of voters (+50%) and is planned for use in the library’s 2024-25 operating budget.

The Skaneateles Central School District Board of Education Election and Budget Vote will take place from 7:00 AM to 9:00 PM on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 at the District Office located at 45 East Elizabeth Street. Absentee ballots are available. Please visit skanschools.org for more information.