Northern New York Newspapers
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Fri., Oct. 9
Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York

No funding increase for Morristown library


To The Editor:

We oppose any increase for the Morristown Public Library.

Increases in fees or taxes in Morristown are constant. A fee is actually a tax when charged by any government agency because the taxpayer has no choice but to pay it. The fee a government charges is not like a cable fee or phone fee being that if someone does not like the charge they have the choice to leave the entity making the fee charge and end it.

The article in The Journal about the Morristown Library was an appeal by the Morristown Library trustees and librarian to garnish more money for the library from the taxpayers.

They attempt to smooth it over by saying that all they want is $2.50 more per $50,000 of assessed property. They continue by saying that this is an insignificant amount of an increase.

Basic math shows that an increase from 10 dollars to 15 dollars is not a small increase. It actually is a 50 percent increase.

These claims made by the trustees and librarian are very far from the truth.

Presently the Morristown Library receives $5.30 per $50,000 of assessed property. So adding $2.50 per $50,000 is a hefty increase in funds. A property that is assessed for $50,000 presently pays $26.53 in tax on the school tax bill to fund the Morristown Library.

Multiply this paid amount by all the assessed property in Morristown and the funding at currentlevels is a large figure.

Ten dimes make a dollar, and every dime that is taken away from the taxpayer adds up to many dollars when totaled together.

Add to this so-called “small increase” to all of the other small increases in everything we use and there is not much money left for the population to claim as excess income, especially those on fixed incomes.

As an example: Look at what residents have had to shell out this winter just for fuel to heat their homes. According to the trustees and librarian they would say “this is a small increase compared to what they paid last year for fuel.”

The trustees and the librarian portray that the needed increase is a small amount to pay for such a great and necessary entity. Really!

The trustees do not say how much funding they presently receive.

What kind of attendance numbers are tracked? What are the salaries of the employees? Who is benefiting from the library? Morristown school’s total enrollment is not a large figure, and how many of those students use the library? Why is the library’s responsibility to provide Internet service to anyone? Kind of a forced taxpayer charity.

The Morristown Library sounds more like someone’s pet project that the trustees want to fund with the taxpayers’ money. What exactly does Morristown Library need this increase in funding for? Have operating expenses increased that much since last tax year? If so, why? Have they been audited to validate what they spend?

If someone wants to know about the history of Morristown, go the Morristown Museum or add the history information of Morristown to the Morristown web page.

In the Advance-News it was written that:

“Morristown’s library is incredibly important to the community. It provides access to educational materials for everyone, regardless of income or age. It provides access to technology for people who can’t afford their own computer and Internet connection. It provides research materials for people who want to know about our history. It preserves that history for future generations. I think all that is worth an extra $5 if you own a $100,000 home, or about $2.50 if you have a $50,000 home.”

How many $50,000homes do you think are in Morristown? I am sure that if you live in a $50,000 dollar home that $2.50 is very important to the owners. Are many of the owners of the $50,000 homes flocking to the Morristown library to get their money’s worth? Is the library being used by a few of the residents or a wide majority? Many of the property owners in Morristown are seasonal. I am sure they are paying for library use at their other residences.

There are many reasons that the increase in funding for the Morristown Library is not needed and way of line.

I know some may read this statement as ridiculous, but so is what is happening in Morristown in many areas. It is time the cat is let out of the bag!

Thank you taking the time to read this.

John Sever

Morristown and Pennsylvania

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