Voters uphold library tax
by PI Staff
Jun 06, 2012 | 994 views | 0 0 comments | 9 9 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Five-year-old Samantha Rodriguez reads Unicorn Wings while spending the afternoon with her family at the Patterson Branch Library in March. Measure T, the continuation of a one-eighth cent sales tax that was approved by county voters on June 5, provides 87 percent of the county library system's funding, allowing the Patterson branch and other branches to remain open.--Irrigator file photo
Five-year-old Samantha Rodriguez reads Unicorn Wings while spending the afternoon with her family at the Patterson Branch Library in March. Measure T, the continuation of a one-eighth cent sales tax that was approved by county voters on June 5, provides 87 percent of the county library system's funding, allowing the Patterson branch and other branches to remain open.--Irrigator file photo
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Stanislaus County voters overwhelmingly decided to reinstate a one-eighth of a cent library tax on Tuesday, June 5, that supporters said was needed to keep most library branches from shutting down.

Measure T received 81.6 percent of support from voters — a total of 38,291 votes.

While no one formally opposed the measure, some supporters feared it would not receive the approval necessary to retain the tax. The initiative, which continues a tax that has approved in 1995, needed a two-thirds majority to pass.

The sales tax is expected to generate more than $6 million a year for libraries for five more years starting in July 2013, and it now pays for 87 percent of all library expenses. Advocates estimate it will cost the average Stanislaus County taxpayer $20 per year.

In other elections news Tuesday, Proposition 29 — a cigarette tax that would fund cancer research — was barely failing with 49.4 percent support with 89.6 percent of precincts counted.

On the other hand, Proposition 28, which would instill new term limits of sorts, appeared to be passing, with 61.5 percent support with 91 percent of the precincts counted. The measure reduces the full number of years that someone could serve in the state legislature from 14 years to 12 years. However, it allows a politician to serve all 12 of those years in the same house, rather than being limited to six years in the Assembly and eight years in the Senate.

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