BRADENTON, Fla. – Voters in Richland County, S.C., which includes the state capital of Columbia, will decide in November whether to impose a new property tax to build and expand existing libraries.

The issue has already drawn supporters and opponents weary from fighting last year’s penny sales tax increase for transportation improvements, which passed by a slim margin.

This year’s ballot will ask voters if they support a property tax hike to support the issuance of $59 million of general obligation bonds.

Bond proceeds would be used for additions to seven existing libraries, and to build two new branches.

If the referendum passes, owners of homes with taxable values of $100,000 would pay an additional $12 to $14. The referendum is scheduled Nov. 5.

A voter education campaign reportedly is under way by the Richland library foundation as well as a citizen’s group called Vote for Our Library.”

Last month, two anti-tax activists announced that they would form a committee called Not Another Tax Increase to oppose the library tax, according to the State newspaper.

The group is co-chaired by Wayne Duncan and Michael Letts. Letts unsuccessfully fought the 1-cent sales tax increase for transportation projects last year, the paper said.

The transportation sales tax increase went into effect in May. It is expected to provide $1 billion over the next 22 years, which includes $450 million of GO bonds.

Subscribe Now

Independent and authoritative analysis and perspective for the bond buying industry.

14-Day Free Trial

No credit card required. Complete access to articles, breaking news and industry data.