Watch Out: Your Library Might Be Next
The Toledo-Lucas County Library will have a levy on the ballot this fall to help support their vital programs in the community. Ohio’s libraries “used to get a straight percentage of income-tax revenue,” as Policy Matters Ohio detailed in their “10 Reasons to Like the Ohio Income Tax.” I don’t typically like to use fear as a motivator, but as state funding for local services has been slashed, you should be wondering if your library will be next.
Governor Kasich has been talking for months now about his desire to cut the state’s income tax, even though it disproportionately benefits the wealthiest Ohioans and it didn’t work the last time (Ohio’s income tax has been cut by 21% since 2005, with no clear positive results). When we choose to give bigger tax cuts to the wealthiest Ohioans it leads to losses of local services like those provided by public libraries.
Libraries do so much more than give the public easy, free access to books (or e-books, audio books, DVDs, and more), although that alone is an extremely valuable public service. They provide free internet access, opportunities for the blind and disabled, a safe place for residents to come, support with resumes or grant applications, and many more wonderful opportunities. Particularly as people are seeking work and as the economy is struggling to improve, these are the kinds of things we should be investing in more heavily, not cutting back.