November 19, 2017

KY Appeals Court: Library Taxes Legal

Library officials across Kentucky exhaled with relief on Friday, March 20, after the state Court of Appeals ruled that systems in two northern counties correctly and legally set their annual tax rate based on a decades-old law that allows revenue to be raised without voter approval. The decision reversed two lower-court verdicts and means the Campbell and Kenton County systems will not have to roll back their tax rates 35 years or more, which would have triggered staff layoffs, branch closures, and other draconian cuts.

KY Legislature Won’t Fix Library Funding

In northern Kentucky this spring, the more things change the more they stay the same for the embattled Campbell (CCPL) and Kenton County Public Libraries (KCPL). After the state General Assembly came close, but ultimately failed to deliver a legislative solution to their longstanding legal woes, the library systems have little recourse except to wait for an appeals court decision that will help determine how they—and potentially the majority of Kentucky libraries—can raise tax revenue.

Kentucky Library District Gets Temporary Tax Reprieve

A northern Kentucky library district won at least a temporary reprieve from wholesale budget cuts last week, after a judge ruled that its tax rate can stay the same until an ongoing lawsuit—which is being watched closely by libraries across the state—winds its way through the appeals process.

More Kentucky Libraries Challenged in Court

An already nervous Kentucky library community got more unsettling news this summer: two more districts were targeted by lawsuits challenging their right to raise tax revenue without voter approval and seeking massive spending rollbacks. The most recent litigation brings the total number of such cases in the state to five, and could eventually change the way the 79 of Kentucky’s 106 library districts have done business for decades.

Kentucky Library Suits Threaten District Tax Funding Statewide

Courtroom setbacks handed out to two Northern Kentucky library districts within 10 days of each other have placed their ability to collect tax revenue in jeopardy. The litigation stems from six members of the Northern Kentucky Tea Party who launched a legal assault against these libraries’ ability to collect tax money without voter approval. If pursued, the tax implications of these cases could imperil district funding for libraries across the state.