Written by L.A. Chung
Ah, summer, the perfect time for a parcel tax vote.
Voters, if they are not away on vacation in July or August, soon will be receiving ballots for Measure A across the seven-city district that makes up the Santa Clara County Library.
At stake, a $33.66 a year parcel tax measure allows the library to buy books and research materials, maintain hours and services, keep librarians and keep the Bookmobile running.
Glossy "Dear Neighbor" mailers signed by County Librarian Nancy Howe went out in the mail alerting residents to the arrival of the ballots, which will be mailed out this month and must be returned by mail on Aug. 27.
Cities across Santa Clara County from Los Altos to Morgan Hill have been passing resolutions these last several weeks in support of the tax, which is meant to replace an expiring parcel tax.
Taxes won't go up with a 'yes' vote for Measure A; it will keep in place a tax that proponents
convinced voters 20 years ago was needed to support library services. Voting no would allow the parcel tax to expire. That parcel tax is set to on June 30, 2015.
The parcel tax would only be levied on residents who live within the library district, which, despite the words "county library" in its name, specifically serves eight municipalities, including Campbell, Cupertino, Gilroy, Los Altos, Milpitas, Morgan Hill, Saratoga, and unincorporated parts of the county. Eight library branches and the Bookmobile entities serve these areas.
Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, which raised money to build a second branch called the Woodland Library in south Los Altos, also taxes itself additionally to provide services that it deems necessary.
In 2012, after years of allowing anyone to have a library card, the county library cut off services to cities not within the library district including cities such as Mountain View, Palo Alto, San Jose and Los Gatos.