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Leaders work to figure out library tax impact

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Updated: 2/04 8:14 pm
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- City leaders met to figure out the impact the proposed independent library system could have on taxpayers.

City Council Auditor Kirk Sherman said they can't give an estimate without researching how Alachua and Orange counties transitioned their library systems.

“We want to interact with those two counties, understand how they operate, and how they went about implementing the process,” said Sherman.

The proposed budget needs to cover operating expenses and any future debt services in case of expansion or capital improvements. Part of the hesitancy to give a direct impact on taxpayers is because the value of the mil keeps changing.

One mil is equal to $43 million in taxpayer funds.

“I'm concerned especially that the mil might not be enough to meet future needs, particularly when we've seen a 20 percent diminution of the value of the mil as we've worked through the recession,” said Sherman.

The financial impact will affect the city of Jacksonville, Duval County, the Beaches and Baldwin.

"So were trying to get an understanding of what is concretely there to be able to come up within a relevant range what we think the impact will be and then move forward,” said Sherman.

Independent library supporter Helene Kamps-Stewart said they look forward to hearing more about the research.

"We will see why Alachua and Orange counties chose this and how their library systems are healthier and more vibrant than ours because they're able to be agile,” said Kamps-Stewart.

Officials said the final taxpayer impact will be a range because there are too many factors to cite one price.
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