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(All questions are handled with appropriate discretion. The questions posted in Mr. Eisner’s columns are generalized frequently asked questions.)
A. If the library board chooses not to resubmit the request for a revote, the following opinions and the provisions of Education Law s259(1)(a) are applicable:
“…Once voters approve the levy of taxes for library purposes, such taxes remain in effect each year, without annual voter approval, until altered in a subsequent proposition [emphasis supplied] (Appeal of Cole, et. al., 37 Ed Dept Rep 407, Decision No. 13, 891 ; Opinion St. Compt 70-471) … …. A school board is required to place a library proposition on the ballot when requested to do so by a free association library (Op St. Compt 81-167; Appeal of the Board of Trustees of the Earlville Free Library , 30 Ed Dept Rep 172, Decision No 12,243…. These decisions imply that a board of education cannot act without a request . Indeed, there is no express statutory provision that authorizes unilateral action by a board of education. Therefore, I find that as school board lacks authority to place a library funding proposition on the ballot unless it receives a request from the library board or a proper petition from district residents to do so (see, Education Law s2008(2)…. (Appeal of the Beaver Falls Public Library… 2003, Commissioner’s Decision 15,002, 43 Ed Dept Rep 303)”.
“Taxes, in addition to those otherwise authorized, may be voted for library purposes by any authority named in section two hundred fifty-five of… [the Education Law] and shall, unless otherwise directed by such vote, be considered as annual appropriations therefor until changed by further vote and shall be levied and collected yearly, or as directed, as are other general taxes [emphasis supplied]. In the case of a school district the appropriation for library purposes shall be submitted to the voters of the district as proposed by the library board of trustees in a separate resolution and shall not be submitted as a part of the appropriation of the necessary funds to meet the estimated expenditures of the school district.
All moneys received from taxes or other public sources for library purposes shall be kept as a separate library fund by the treasurer of the municipality or district making the appropriation and shall be expended only under direction of the library trustees on properly authenticated vouchers…. (Education Law S259(1)(a))”.