But folks should make sure they do not overlook Measure T, which would continue a one-eighth of a cent sales tax on Stanislaus County’s public library system. If approved, the measure would generate more than $6 million a year for libraries for five more years starting in July 2013. That tax only adds up to about $20 per year for the average taxpayer each year, supporters say, but it pays for 87 percent of all library expenses. As a result, the library system as we know it today will not exist if Measure T does not pass by a two-thirds majority. Many people have even speculated that the Patterson branch would shut down entirely if it fails to pass.
That would be a travesty, as about 87 percent of Patterson residents have library cards, and the city consistently has remained one of the communities with the most library cards per capita, according to county library officials.
The local library branch is used by a large swath of the public, ranging from children to senior citizens. Books, DVDs, archived newspapers and computer terminals with Internet access are just some of its assets.
Voters should keep in mind that Measure T is the continuation of a tax and will not cost residents any more than they are already paying. The measure has bipartisan including from fiscal conservatives such as Supervisor Jim DeMartini, who chairs the Republican Party in Stanislaus County.
While no one has officially opposed the measure, supporters recognize that some people will vote against any tax no matter what it is.
Our community simply cannot afford to lose its library system, and Measure T needs to have voters’ support.