Voters in Little Rock will decide March 13 on a revenue bond issue for up to $32 million to expand the Central Arkansas Library System.

City directors approved the March election date last week.

The city issues bonds for the system, supported by the library district’s property tax.

Little Rock’s library bonds are rated AA by Standard & Poor’s.

Approval by voters would reduce the library tax to 0.9 mills from the current one mill.

The tax would have expired in 2024 but approval in March would extend it by another five years, to 2029.

If the bond plan passes, it would be the fourth such approval since the original authorization in 1994 of $17 million of bonds supported by a two-mill tax.

Voters approved additional library debt in 1998, 2004 and 2007.

The proceeds would refund $10 million of outstanding debt from a 2004 bond issue as well as provide $19 million of new money for a 350-seat auditorium and parking deck at the downtown main library, the maintenance of existing facilities, and land acquisition for a new branch in west Little Rock.

Bobby Roberts, the library system’s director, said the parking deck would be designed to be converted easily into storage space for its Arkansas Studies Institute.

The $25 million of bonds issued in 2004 provided $15.6 million of the $21 million cost of the archive center in downtown Little Rock.

The institute holds historical papers of former governors and other prominent Arkansans.

Roberts said the library property tax on a $200,000 residence would total $8 a year at the proposed rate.

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