TAXATION FOR LIBRARY SERVICES. Letter, November 13, 1964, to Miss Vivian Woody, Copeland Memorial Library, Douglas, Kansas.
You have inquired whether the county commissioners may under a contract with a private library provide library services for the county in accord with K.S.A. 12-1230, Levey a tax to pay the costs of said services upon a portion of the county only.
In the opinion of this office, the answer to this question must be in the negative. Where a tax levy is made upon the citizens of a county for a purpose of general benefit to the entire county, the levy must be assessed against the county generally at ". . . a uniform and equal rate . . ." Kansas constitution, article 11, § 1. The only exception to this provision arises where a particular project is of benefit to certain real estate only. This is commonly known as a special assessment, examples of which are sewage system, sidewalks and the like. We do not see how a library could be considered to be of peculiar benefit to a particular area of real estate, and hence an assessment to provide for the cost of operation thereof must be uniformly applicable to the property within the county generally. The authorizing section (k.S.A. 12-1230) permits the county board to contract for the furnishing of library service to such municipality (counties being included in that term, K.S.A. 12-1218a). This means the service must benefit the whole area of the county. We do not think they would sanction a contract which would benefit one particular part of a county, less than the whole county.
- Quoted from Kansas Public Library Laws, Attorney General’s Opinions and Rules and Regulations, State Library of Kansas, March 1979.