Colorado Legislative Council Staff
NO FISCAL IMPACT
January 13, 1998
Harry Zeid (866-4753)
TITLE: CONCERNING THE TAXING AUTHORITY OF SCHOOL DISTRICTS TO SUPPORT SCHOOL LIBRARIES WHICH ARE SUPPORTED BY TAXES LEVIED PRIOR TO THE ENACTMENT OF THE “COLORADO LIBRARY LAW”.
Summary of Assessment
The bill defines a “school library” to mean any library established and maintained by a school district for which the school district began levying a tax before the enactment of the “Colorado Library Law” on July 1, 1979. The bill clarifies that school districts that, with or without approval by the electors of the school district, began levying property tax to support school libraries have been and shall continue to be authorized to levy a property tax to support the functions of the library.
The bill would affect one school district in the state, the Widefield School District. Since the early 1960’s, the Widefield School District in unincorporated El Paso County has operated the Security Public Library. The school district assumed the functions of a public library, including levying a tax for its support. In 1978, residents of the school district approved an increase in the levy from 1.500 mills to not more than 2.000 mills. The current levy is 1.970 mills. Under an agreement with the Security Public Library, the Widefield School District Board of Education functions as the governing entity for the library, maintains the library facility, and provides funding from the existing mill levy and, if necessary, from the school district budget. It is believed that no other public library in the state is run by a school district. While the Widefield School District has assumed governance and support of the library, it does not have specific statutory authority to impose a property tax. This bill would clarify the authority to impose the property tax mill levy that is currently imposed in support of the Security Public Library.
The bill may also restrict the ability of other school districts in the state to establish a school library and support it through a property tax, since the bill does not authorize a school district to levy a tax to support a library under the “Colorado Library Act”. It is unclear whether that authority exists in current law.
The bill would not affect the revenues or expenditures of the state, or local school districts. Therefore, it is assessed as having no fiscal impact. The bill would become effective upon signature of the Governor.
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