1. This is NOT a tax increase - this is a RENEWAL of the 1.5 mills that was already in place. The millage has expired and this is just a renewal of that millage. According to information provided by the library, the average Bridgeport homeowner will pay roughly $50.00 per year for this library millage. From the proposal as it appears on the ballot, it reads: "..levy a tax for the operation of a free Public Library in the Township of Bridgeport at a rate of taxation of 1.5 mills being $1.50 per $1,000.00 of taxable value on all taxable real and personal properties for a period of 6 years, from 2014 - 2019 inclusive..."
2. A comment I have heard is that this is not really necessary for the library, it is just a hidden ploy to get more money for the Bridgeport Downtown Development Authority. That theory just boggles my mind.
First lets go over how the library is funded... 81.74% of their funds come from property taxes. That is what this renewal is for... 10.25% of their funds come from penal fees... 5.08% comes from "fines, fees and other"... 2.14% of their funds come from state aid... and lastly they get .79% from interest. You can see from the above list that over 80% of their operating budget comes from the property tax millage. We would not have our wonderful library without this money.
Secondly lets discuss how the DDA board is funded. They are funded by capturing a small portion of the tax dollars from properties that are located only within the DDA district in Bridgeport. Here is a map of the Bridgeport DDA District that you can view online -- Bridgeport DDA District Map
There is no separate tax for the DDA. From what I understand, they capture a portion of the taxes that go to Saginaw County, Bridgeport Township, Delta College and also the Bridgeport Public Library. The DDA board will receive about 10% of the library tax renewal millage money.
There may be people that don't want any of the library's tax funds to go to the DDA, BUT is that any reason to vote NO on the library tax renewal? The DDA board can be seen as a blessing or a curse but that is a debate for another day. This tax renewal is only about funding our Bridgeport Public Library.
I will be voting yes on the tax. If this millage fails, it is the Bridgeport Public Library and the Bridgeport Residents that will be the biggest losers. If you have never been to our library before I urge you to go and check it out. See everything they have to offer, talk to them. I personally get more than $50.00 per year use from our library. This is money well spent!!
The website for the Bridgeport Public Library - http://www.bridgeportlibrary.org/
They also have a Facebook page -- Bridgeport Public Library on Facebook