Basalt’s spend-happy library district
December 4, 2009
I’m writing to express my disappointment with the Basalt Library District’s decision not to provide any tax relief in their 2010 budget. It’s unclear to me why the library district feels it’s so unique that it exempts itself from providing relief when most other taxing entities are either reducing or eliminating the 2010 windfall and keeping their budgets as flat as possible.
These include the Pitkin County Library, city of Aspen, Pitkin County Open Space and Trails, Gateway Metro District, Snowmass-Wildcat Fire District, Basalt Fire, Aspen Fire, and Aspen Valley Hospital. I’m sure every one of these organizations could have found some justification to keep the full tax increase, but instead have chosen to take a more responsible path and are keeping their spending in check to reduce the burden on their taxpayers.
The library district is proposing to spend nearly 40 percent more in 2010 than last year. I question whether that’s really appropriate when thousands of people in our community are out of work and many are struggling to keep their homes. The $417,000 in additional taxes the library district is taking from the taxpayers adds up to a lot of house payments, car payments and grocery bills.
Instead of being utterly frugal with our tax moneys the library district is spending our hard-earned taxes on four new staff positions, grand opening, full-page color ads, and board of directors retreats. This might be fine in normal times, but these aren’t normal times.
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