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L.A. council agrees to draft a library tax measure for voters to consider in fall

June 29, 2010 |  5:10 pm

The Los Angeles City Council voted 9 to 1 on Tuesday to instruct its lawyers to draft a $30-million library tax measure, even as several members voiced doubts about sending it to voters in the Nov. 2 election.

Councilman Richard Alarcon questioned whether the measure should be expanded to include park facilities. Meanwhile, Councilwoman Janice Hahn said she was troubled that the city would have to spend $4.2 million to get the property tax hike on the ballot in this year's state election. "We don't have the money," she said.

Hahn suggested that the council consider the measure for the March municipal election, which would not cost the city anything.

But Councilman Dennis Zine, who cast the only opposing vote, said voters should not be asked to approve any additional tax in such difficult economic times.

City Librarian Martin Gomez said voters would be more likely to provide the two-thirds support for a parcel tax in November, when turnout is expected to be higher.

Libraries are slated to lose one day of service a week in the fiscal year that starts Thursday.

The proposed tax hike would require property owners to pay an extra $39 per parcel per year. Proceeds would restore one day of service per week.

The council must cast a final vote on a proposed library tax by July 14, according to a spokesman for council President Eric Garcetti.

-- David Zahniser