Our Views: In Saturday’s election, The Times-Picayune makes these recommendations
By Staff Editorial
December 11, 2021
Public library millage renewal: Yes
In 2020, voters soundly rejected a complicated property tax swap that would have cut deeply into the New Orleans Public Library system’s bottom line. We too were skeptical that this vital institution could do more with less.
Now residents can ensure that the libraries have the resources to keep serving the community for the next two decades.
This year’s proposed standalone measure is much more straightforward than the 2020 package, with which Mayor LaToya Cantrell, citing a surplus that library backers noted was temporary, sought to shift some revenue to other public purposes. It would allow the city to collect more than it does now — 4 mills rather than 2.58 — but the library system’s spending plan counts on the lower figure, and we hope the City Council would resist increasing the amount collected. The council initiated the renewal request, and Cantrell supports its passage.
The Bureau of Governmental Research recommends approval and says that the renewal would support the current level of services and also allow the system to enact a 10-year plan, devised with widespread community input, that “envisions initiatives to develop children’s creative and thinking skills, expand the library’s role in workforce development and improve access to library resources for all residents.”
We share those goals and encourage voters to help them come to fruition.
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