Library Draft Budget: Slight Tax Increase

At their April 15, 2013 meeting, Ann Arbor District Library trustees reviewed a draft budget for fiscal 2013-14, which calls for levying a 1.575-mill tax – a small increase from the current 1.55-mill rate, but still below the amount that AADL is authorized to levy. [.pdf of draft 2013-14 budget]

The AADL is authorized to levy up to 1.92 mills, but the board has in recent years set the millage rate at lower levels.

The board is expected to vote on the budget and set the millage rate on May 6, but several trustees made comments about the draft budget during the April 15 meeting. Ed Surovell argued strongly against even a small tax increase, and said he wouldn’t be voting for a budget that includes any increase to the millage. It’s estimated that the additional 0.025 mills would increase the amount of the library tax for homeowners by $2.50 per year, for a home that has a taxable value of $100,000. The increase is estimated to result in an additional $185,000 in tax revenues, compared to a 1.55-mill rate.

At 1.575 mills, the tax would be expected to bring in $11.515 million in revenues during the fiscal year, which begins July 1, 2013. That amount is based on a projected 2% increase in the property tax base. Other projected major revenue sources include library fines and fees ($425,000), penal fines ($195,000), and interest income ($100,000). Total revenues for the 2013-14 budget are $12.475 million.

Highlights from the expense side include a 3% increase in the merit raise pool for full-time employees and an increase in hourly base rates for part-time workers. The library’s contribution to the Michigan Public School Employees Retirement System (MPSERS) will also increase from 24.32% to 28%, but only 18 employees are enrolled in that pension plan. Overall, total employee-related costs are budgeted to increase from $7.728 million in the current fiscal year to $7.995 million in fiscal 2013-14 – a 3.5% increase.

Other major expense line items include $1.85 million for materials, $440,000 for utilities, and $302,000 for repair and maintenance.

A public hearing is scheduled for input on the budget at the board’s May 6 meeting.

This brief was filed from the fourth-floor conference room at the downtown Ann Arbor District Library, located at 343 S. Fifth Ave. A more detailed report will follow: [link]