The St. Louis County Library has not asked for a property tax increase in nearly 30 years—since 1983. But now county library representatives are asking voters to support one.
Proposition L is an initiative to increase the current Library tax rate by $0.06. These funds can only be spent to improve library facilities and operations. By law, none of these funds will go to the St. Louis County government, according to the Proposition L website.
A total of $265,000-plus in contributions have been made to support a committee backing the proposed St. Louis County Library tax increase appearing on the Nov. 6 ballot. Voters in Eureka and Wildwood will help decide whether to approve or reject the measure, along with other people living in the library system.
More than 80 percent of contributions made to the Proposition L committee—called Citizens for Our Library and Our Community—happened between June 30 and Sept. 30. Giving and spending for that period is documented in an Oct. 1 filing with the Missouri Ethics Commission. The committee received $215,000 in the last three months, bringing total contributions to just over $265,000.
One Wildwood resident showed her support of the proposition on the citizens' website; an electronic image of her endorsement accompanies this article. Rina Chittooran stated:
"I am so grateful for the richness that the public library has afforded me and my family over the years; truly, I cannot imagine my life without it."
Nearly 70 percent of expenditures made by the committee also happened in the last three months. That works out to about $96,000 in expenditures between the end of June and the end of September, part of the nearly $140,000 in total spending.
Other highlights for the period:
- About 70 percent of total campaign contributions came from a single donor: Civic Progress Action Committee, which made two $75,000 gifts.
- Other large single-amount contributions included those from Jacobs Engineering ($7,500), Interface Construction Co. ($5,000), Enterprise Holdings Inc. Political Action Committee ($5,000), Lashly Baer P.C. ($5,000), S.M. Wilson ($5,000), KAI ($5,000), Color Art Integrated Interiors ($5,000) and Sachs Electric Co. ($5,000).
- The committee spent more than $33,000 with Clayton-based Sequel LLC for services such as consulting, mailings and poll workers.
- Not all of the money stayed in St. Louis. Close to $28,000 was spent with Alexandria, VA-based Murphy Vogel Askew Reilly LLC for creative development, consulting and a digital media buy.
- Other large single-amount expenditures went to a postmaster for mailing ($6,000), Mulligan Printing for printing services ($5,900), Terrance Jones for a tracking survey ($5,000) and Majority Strategies for fundraising consulting ($4,800).
Eureka-Wildwood Patch editor Julie Brown Patton contributed to this article.