Callaway County Library District Levy

What Is Proposition L?

On April 7, the Callaway County Library District is asking voters to approve a six-cent increase to its operating levy. This will allow the library to provide more library materials, programs and services to more people throughout Callaway County.

The Need

From early childhood literacy to outreach for the elderly, from internet access to community engagement, the library contributes to the quality of life and the economic well-being of the county. In addition to books, the library provides internet access, streaming services, early learning kits for kids, convenient online resources and more. The current funding level, however, is no longer sufficient to keep pace with the changing needs of the community. The library is serving more people and offering more services than ever before.

No Change in Library Levy for 53 Years

The current operating tax levy in Callaway County was approved by voters in April 1967 in the amount of 20 cents (per $100 of assessed valuation), and was re-established at 20 cents in April 2000. About 95% of the public library’s funding comes from this property tax.

If the increase is approved by voters, the tax receipts would bring up to an additional $540,000 annually to support public libraries in Callaway County.

The Vote

On April 7, Callaway County voters will see the following measure on the ballot:

“Shall the $0.20 per one hundred dollars assessed valuation levy for the county library be increased to $0.26 per one hundred dollars of assessed valuation?”

A YES Vote Means

  • An increase to the library’s collection of books, music, movies, early learning kits and technology resources.
  • Expanded programming and delivery services to nursing homes and child care centers, etc.
  • A new community outreach van dedicated to Callaway County.
  • Needed maintenance and updates to the original Carnegie library building in Fulton.
  • The Holts Summit Public Library becomes a permanent library location and increases its hours from 20 to 55 a week.

A NO Vote Means

  • Fewer new materials and resources, including books, movies, music and online learning tools.
  • Decreased library community outreach and partnership with local agencies.
  • Scaling back technology updates and likely falling short of meeting our community’s growing digital needs.
  • Only basic repairs and postponement of renovations to the Carnegie library building in Fulton.
  • The Holts Summit Public Library will either close or the library will reduce other Callaway County services in order to keep the Holts Summit Public Library open 20 hours a week.

Questions & Answers

Has the library always been funded through taxes?

The first operating tax levy to support a public library in Callaway County was approved by voters in April, 1910 in the amount of 10 cents (per $100 of assessed valuation). In 1967, the operating tax levy was increased to 20 cents and was re-established at 20 cents in April, 2000. It has remained unchanged since then.

How much of the proposed tax levy in Callaway County will stay in Callaway County?

All of the funds allocated to public libraries through the Callaway County property tax support public library services in Callaway County.

How would this levy increase affect my property taxes?

Home Market Value Added Yearly Cost Added Monthly Cost
$75,000 $8.85 $0.71
$100,000 $11.40 $0.95
$150,000 $17.10 $1.43
$200,000 $22.80 $1.90

Can’t I just use the library in Jefferson City?

Missouri River Regional Library will let people in Callaway County get a library card and check out items at the library; however, people outside of MRRL’s service area (Cole and Osage Counties) cannot check out digital materials like eBooks, downloadable audiobooks or streaming media.

How are libraries funded in Missouri?

As established by state law, public libraries are supported primarily through property taxes. For the Callaway County Public Library District, 96% of the funding comes from property taxes. The remaining 4% comes from state allocations, grants and private donations.

Which library system is the Holts Summit Public Library part of?

The Daniel Boone Regional Library (DBRL) system. The Callaway County Public Library, the Columbia Public Library, the Holts Summit Public Library and the Southern Boone County Public Library in Ashland are all part of the DBRL system. The DBRL system formed in 1959.

Will the tax levy in Boone County go up, too?

Not at this time. Boone County citizens voted a tax levy ceiling of 32¢ in 1999.