Why does Library need a tax measure?
Kern County’s library system is one of the most underfunded in the state – AND the most populous county with a library system without a dedicated tax.
Between 2009 and 2014, our Kern County Library funding decreased by 11%. Out of the more than 180 library systems in the State, Kern County Library ranks among the 10 most underfunded systems.
Kern County’s libraries receive the lowest funding of all County’s with similar populations.
Reading ranking: The City of Bakersfield was the worst city in the U.S. for its overall reading culture.
The study, by Central Connecticut State University (CCSU), examined how well Americans used their literacy skills in the nation’s largest cities.
“Bakersfield was the worst city in the U.S. for its overall reading culture. The city was among the worst in the nation for access to bookstores, as well as subscriptions to magazines and scholarly journals. There were just two magazines with at least 2,500 subscriptions in the city in 2013 and no journal publications at all. There was just one independent bookstore in the city last year and just 30 retail book outlets for the city’s more than 350,000 residents. The city’s library system was also poor rated, with low circulation rates and understaffing. Low demand for reading materials could reflect low educational attainment rates — just 77% of adults had a high school diploma in 2012, among the worst nationally.”
How do we win?
In order for the measure to pass it requires a supermajority (67%) vote. Simple majority is not enough.
What does Measure F do?
Measure F will:
- Raise sales tax by 1/8 of a penny, 12.5 cents for every 100 dollars in spending on items with sales tax. This doesn’t include things like groceries. For every 8 dollars you spend you pay 1 penny towards bringing our libraries into the 21st century.
- Measure F would generate an estimated $15 million a year.
- Measure F requires the creation of a citizens’ board to advise the library director and Kern County Board of Supervisors on how the money should be spent on library operations, programs, construction, and acquisition of books and technology.