News Release


DATE: October 1999

CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108



The County's Library System received a long overdue financial boost last week after the Governor signed a bill dedicating an increase in County property taxes for funding library services. The bill, authored by Assemblywoman Susan Davis and spearheaded by Supervisors Jacob and Slater, authorizes the Board of Supervisors to adopt an ordinance that will transfer up to $3 million of property tax funding into the library's budget each year, beginning with the current fiscal year through 2001-2002.

"AB 494 will virtually double the existing library operations budget so that County libraries will finally have their doors open full-time and on weekends, instead of having to limp along while putting Band-Aids on our library system," said Supervisor Dianne Jacob. "This is a legacy that this Board of Supervisors will pass on for years to come."

Although the Board of Supervisors has significantly increased the library's budget in recent years, the library system has one of the lowest per capita spending averages in the state. This legislation will ensure that the current Boards' commitment to library funding is carried on.

"I am absolutely delighted and elated that the governor saw fit to sign this AB 494," said Pam Slater, Chairwoman of the Board of Supervisors. "This will permit the Board of Supervisors to provide an appropriate floor to fund the minimum basic services to our library patrons."

Because San Diego County is a Charter County, State legislation was needed to dedicate the increased property tax allocation to County libraries.

"I am happy to have played a part in assuring that County residents from Imperial Beach to Borrego Springs will have more secure, long-term library funding," said Assemblywoman Susan Davis.

The increase in funding will mean improvements such as extended evening and weekend hours, and hiring additional staff to better serve library patrons.