Genesee District Library millage increase receives nod from voters

GENESEE COUNTY — Voters approved a county-wide millage increase of 0.25 mills to help support the Genesee District Library at the May 3 election.

Voters approved the millage increae, which will generate an addiitonal $2.2 million to maintain current library staffing levels, hours and other operations, by a vote of 15,250-10,998.

Six precincts were still not counted at 11:15 p.m.

The proposed millage increase of 0.25 mills will generate 25 cent per $1,000 taxable value for a period of six years.

According to its website, the Genesee District Library was facing major cuts in funding and over the past two years has experienced a 57 percent decrease in state aid with an additional 40 percent cut being proposed by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Nearly 80 percent of the GDL’s budget is from property tax revenue, which has declined by 15 percent.

The GDL will use the additional funds to maintain current hours, collections, services and staffing offered at each location, said officials.

This was the first request for a millage increase since 1998.

The GDL has 19 locations in Genesee County, and its legal service area covers all of Genesee County with the exception of the City of Flint. The GDL and the Flint Public Library are two separate systems, and the Flint Public Library is supported by tax revenue within the City of Flint. The GDL is supported by tax revenues in Genesee County that are outside the City of Flint.

The GDL is primarily funded through property taxes or a millage, and the current rate of 0.7481 mills will expire in 2016. The remaining revenue of the GDL comes from alternative sources such as fees and fines, state aid, penal fines, grants and gifts.

According to its website, the GDL operates under an annual budget primarily based on property tax allocations as set by a voter-approved millage.

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