Branson, Mo. — The August 8th election is just days away and one item on the ballot for Taney County residents is a tax levy to publicly fund the Taneyhills Community Library. 

 The Taneyhills Library said this tax would keep their doors open, but some are concerned about how exactly their tax dollars would be used. 

Taney County residents are being asked to vote on the Branson/Hollister library subdistrict property tax. If 51% of voters vote yes, there would be a tax of $0.18 for every 100 dollars of the assessed value of the real estate and personal property. 

“We’re for the Taney Hills Library. We want to see that library stay open,” said Carmen Lawson a Taney County resident who opposes the tax levy. “What we’re not for is a $12 million tax levy. That’s a concern for a lot of people in the community”  

“This tax is to provide for the Taney Hills Library to become a publicly funded library. The tax is .18, which is lower than what other library districts pay throughout the area.

Springfield’s at .25,” said Marcia Schemper-Carlock the Taneyhills Library Director. “And we’re looking at using those funds so that we can become a certified public library through the state of Missouri.”  

Taneyhills Library tells me that Taney county is one of only four other counties in Missouri that does not have a publicly funded library. However, some are worried about how much this tax will cost them. 

 “The best thing they can do is to look at their tax records online,” Schemper-Carlock said. “Anyone who does not own real estate will not be paying any tax on that. It would only be on personal property. But for the person with that assessed property of 170,000, it’s approximately $59 a year or about $5 a month.”  

If passed, Taneyhills says the funds would go towards operating expenses and a portion of the money received would go towards a new building.  

“one of the things that we were concerned about is that it’s a forever tax,” Lawson said. “And they could have put a sunset tax and it would have been limited, but they chose not to do that. And so we wanted to know why.”  

 “Our expenses are ongoing. It’s not a short-term deal,” said Schemper-Carlock. “And when we looked at the possibility of doing a sunset tax, we were advised against that by financial advisors as well as other public library directors.” 

And the library said if this tax levy is not passed on Tuesday, it will have to close its doors by the end of the year.