NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Opinion

May 15, 2013

Hidden costs of a public library

To the editor:

The new construction proposed for the public library in Salisbury is going to be expensive. The total cost to taxpayers will be $7.5 million. Proponents of the project will try to convince the taxpayers of Salisbury that they are going to receive a $3.8 million discount. Look again. That discount comes from the state of Massachusetts where we all pay taxes. Communities around the state are all competing for similar “discounts,” but the reality is that we are all simply paying for each other’s discount in a cleverly rigged shell game.

There is no discount. The public library is going to cost us $7.5 million one way or another. These additional costs are already projected to increase the town’s operating budget. Town Manager Neil

Harrington has stated that these costs will be covered through increased revenues. That is, more taxes.

The proposed $7.5 million facility is a 17,000-square-foot, two-story building complete with a conference center. Once the new library is built, the costs do not stop. Every year the new library will

need to be recertified. According to Massachusetts General Law (M.G.L., c.78, s.19A) the new library will need to meet its Municipal Appropriation Requirement. This means that each year the budget for

library operations must be increased by 2.5 percent above the average of the previous three years appropriations.

That’s right. A mandatory budget increase. Every year.

The public library also costs money in other ways. Tourists who might seek out places to spend time on a hot afternoon could be spending money in our regional shops and restaurants instead of taxpayer-funded air-conditioning. A bookstore and coffee shop that would be paying employees and taxes is forced out by the presence of taxpayer-funded competition.

It is time to question the need for expensive public libraries. This is not an attack on libraries. Rather, a simple recognition that we do not need the government to improve and enrich our lives.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

NDN Video
Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now! Reports: Ravens RB Ray Rice Suspended For 1st 2 Games Of The Season Air Algerie plane with 119 on board missing over Mali Diamond Stone, Malik Newman, Josh Jackson and others showcase talent Free Arturo - The World's Saddest Polar Bear A Look Back at Batman On Film Through The Years LeBron James -- Dropped $2k On Cupcake Apology ... Proceeds To Benefit Charity Snoop Dogg Says He Smoked Weed at the White House Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Chris Pratt Interrupts Interview To French Braid Intern's Hair Shirtless Super Mario Balotelli Dances While Ironing - @TheBuzzeronFOX Whoa! Watch "Housewives" Star Do the Unthinkable LeBron apologizes to neighbors with cupcakes Justin Bieber In Calvin Klein Underwear Shoot
Special Features
NRA Waterfront Plans