Grand Rapids voters authorize tax to support libraries

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) — Voters in Grand Rapids have authorized a tax to support the city’s library system for another 20 years.

The proposal was on Tuesday’s general election ballot.

The tax began in 1997, when voters agreed to help the library pay off a bond for building projects and an expansion of the library system. The tax expires this year and the bond will be paid off. The new tax will raise $1.75 million in the first year and will last until 2037.

The Grand Rapids Press has reported that the library system could have seen reduced hours, closed branches and less outreach to schools if the property tax failed.

The eight-building library system is running on a budget of $9.4 million, the same amount the library was spending in 2006.

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