Fort Smith Library Millage Increase Fails

FORT SMITH (KFSM) – Fort Smith voters turned down a two millage increase to expand the Fort Smith Public Library’s budget in a special election Tuesday (August 12).

1,542 voted for the millage increase, while 2,744 voted against the increase.

The library’s Board of Trustees wanted to increase the current millage from one to three. This would have meant property tax for residents who own a $100,000 home would increase from $20 to $60 annually.

The extra money was slated to expand and enhance the library system. “More books, more DVDs, more computers, and faster internet,” said Library Director Jennifer Goodson.

According to the library’s website, the current budget is stretched as far as it will go. The lack of additional funding means expansion will be at a standstill and growth of services will not be possible.

Goodson said it has been 57 years since a millage increase to support the library system has passed.

14 comments

  • 1Angry Arkie

    Step #1: Vote NO and encourage all others to do likewise.
    Step #2: Tar, feather, terminate employment of Jennifer Goodson and RUN her out of town on a rail!

  • P. Gilliam

    “it has been 57 years since a millage increase to support the library system has passed.”
    For a good reason. The money that the library gets should be enough. As the population grows, so does the amount of money they (library) gets. You see in 1952 the population was about 47 to 48 thousand and is currently over 86 thousand and that is how they get their money. A millage (oh it seems so small) would place the burden on the home owner. Yes I did say burden since the home owner would be taxed. Okay you say no big deal. I’ll divide 60 into 12. That’s not bad, $5 a month. But when you take this is just an estimate, 40,000 home owners and multiply by 5 it comes up as 200,000 a month or 2,4 million a year.

    If the library is in such despair, why are they not cutting back such as layoffs or pay cuts to pay for all these improvements? (as many, many of the good people, here in Fort Smith, have had to do). Maybe the library expanded, too quickly when they moved the main branch it was too fast to even trying to pull this stunt.

    Back in 1988 I worked with a consulting team and they kept saying, and I quote ” This is how they do it in Dallas.” I spoke up and said: “Well, we aren’t in Dallas”.

    If I asked my boss for almost double what I’m currently being paid, laid out a plan to show him why I need a brand new shiny car so that I can get to work and I needed a new driveway because the current one is crumbling, and to pay for my healthcare and new furniture in the house, so the dog could be more comfortable…you see what I am getting at?

    Didn’t we spend money on Dewey’s in the library, that is losing money every month? Here is an idea: Lets throw more money at it to see if it can survive.

    Why would a library need 2.4 million a year for the rest of our lives? to keep up to date? I’m sorry to say this but I can access any online library in the country. All I need to do is sign up and a password. To loan out DVDs? I’m sorry but there are places such as Red Box and even online places that allow you to view movies. But wait those cost money and you can check them out at the library. Doesn’t that cost money to the home owner through local taxes?

    The people of Fort Smith do care about their community but are tired of being taxed and have voted NO.

    “Up Next” will be a request for a millage increase for a new high school at Chaffee Crossing!!

    • Arnold Fudpucker

      Very good. Hopefully the public will be as resounding when the new high school scheme comes up.

  • Johnny C

    Why did this issue get voted down?

    Less than 5,000 votes show up to vote. Thoses who really wanted to vote did. There was only four place intown to vote. I had to call to find out where to vote my self.

    If this vote was in November would it had pass orwould it still fail?

    No surprice on the out come.

    • unbelievable

      Johnny I think it failed for several reasons. One being that people cannot afford a tax increase of any time. Everyone say it’s only $XX per month but when your sewer goes up $10, your electric goes up $20 your groceries for a single person are up $40 and even though my house decreased 20% according to a realtor the assessor thinks it went up 25%. People cannot afford any more expenses.
      Two is that people are sick of Fort Smith leaders. They tried to pull a fast one on people. They spent a lot of money on a special election instead of having this one with one of the two elections coming up in September and November. They thought that the only people that would come out and vote in August on Tuesday would be them and all of their other idiots that run this town.
      It was for a good cause but people cannot afford it now. I saw people posting pictures of the NYC library on social media. As you said we are not Dallas and we are definitely not NYC. Money needs to be spent on bringing businesses and jobs to this town and everything else will take care of itself. More people = more property taxes collected, more sales tax collected etc etc. There is no reason Chaffee should not be completely full of good paying manufacturing jobs other than the fact that we offer them nothing to come here so they dont.

  • Arnold Fudpucker

    When the next claim for needing increased taxes comes around, and it won’t be long, we need to pursue taking the Westark (UofA FSM) property tax percentage and move it to something that really needs it.

  • makesmesick

    I hope you all are proud of yourselves. This town makes me sick. We are full of poor greedy uneducated people that only want to sit around and whine instead of do something to improve the city we live in. This election was not run by the city, the tax payers didn’t pay for it – for that matter you didn’t pay for Dewey’s either. Imbeciles…every last one of you. Take the time to educate yourselves before you post your negative nonsense. It is uneducated comments like these that poisoned this election. Your bitterness towards the city is not the library’s fault. The library has no tie to the city; they are not run by the city, owned by the city or influenced by the city. Why you can’t understand that is beyond me. Negativity begets negativity. How can we expect to move in a positive direction while there are so many negative people that live here?

    • unbelievable

      The ignorant people are the people that are running this town and running this library. A tax increase for anything will not pass right now. Until the economy in this area improves people do not have money. Maybe you need to educate yourself on just how many tax dollars go to the library compared to how many go to police and fire. If the library needs more money you idiots can have your little fundraisers and fund the extra programs. At least that way the people that can afford it will be the ones paying for it. For the people that have lost their jobs and those of us that about to lose ours because of this city not wanting to help keep good employers no tax hike was the best solution.
      Oh I forgot we are getting a Johnny something or other sandwich shop. Maybe those high paying jobs can help bail the library out. Knowing this ignorant city and the ignorant people running it they will probably give us a sewer surcharge to fund the library.

    • Arnold Fudpucker

      Per makesmesick: “The library has no tie to the city; they are not run by the city, owned by the city or influenced by the city. ” Uh before you start calling everyone else “imbeciles” you had better check your facts else you continue to make moronic statements. Additionally, you can’t “move in a positive direction” if you continue to allow yourself to get ripped off by the supposed powers that be. Oversight my dear is what you witnessed.

  • bobreal

    This is GOOD!!!
    The Library WANTS MONEY?? CHARGE THE ONES THAT USE IT, CUT EMPLOYEE HOURS, CUT THE NUMBER OF HOURS THE LIBRARY IS OPEN
    AND FOR THE ONES THAT DON’T USE THE LIBRARY LEAVE THEM ALONE..

  • bobreal

    What is Funny it’s Not a LEAD Story Because it LOST…
    But I’m wiling to Bet, If it had Won It Be FRONT PAGE IN BOLD PRINT.

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