Fresno Co voters appear to favor library tax

FRESNO, California

"77-percent of Fresno County voters across the county would definitely or probably vote for the continuation of the 1/8th cent sales tax."

Consultant Richard Bernard told the Board of Supervisors the poll shows voters favor continuing the tax for 16 years.

Supervisor Susan Anderson said despite the apparent support, the board must still work to make sure the support lasts until the November election. "This is a very promising report but I don't want people to be overly optimistic because it's tough to get a 2/3ds vote on anything."

County Librarian Laurel Prysizany noted with state budget cuts the local tax measure is vital to simply maintain current services. "Given that the state has cut all of our funding in its entirety money for building programs is certainly a long way away, right now we are more interested in just restoring the basics we had previously."

Measure B was first passed in 1998, it currently provides about half of the library systems $26 million a budget. In moving forward to put the measure on the November ballot, the supervisors want voters to know of drastic consequences if it fails.

Anderson said: "If it's not passed and continued we will be closing down all the facilities we have spent taxpayer money to open and people will not receive the service and that will be a tragedy for this county."

Supporters stress Measure B will not increase taxes, just maintain the present 1/8th of a cent sales tax for libraries, which amounts to about 12 dollars a year for the typical household.

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