LIBRARY DISTRICT - TAX LEVY. Letter, September 10, 1973, to Hon. Robert B. Talkington, Senator, Iola.

You advise that in 1972, the City of La Cygne, Kansas and Lincoln Township, Linn County, organized a library district pursuant of K.S.A. 12-1234. The township has heretofore been included within the Southeast Kansas Library System. The question arises whether property within Lincoln Township is presently subject to any levy imposed in behalf of the regional system.

It is apparently urged that the levy is prohibited by the following portion of K.S.A. 75-2551:

"The tax levy made pursuant to such budget shall be certified to the county clerks of each county in the territory of the regional system of cooperating libraries.

"Each system board is hereby authorized to levy not in excess of one-half (1/2) mill of tax to be used for library purposes on all of the taxable property within the boundaries of such regional system of cooperating libraries that is not within a district supporting a library with funds of such district." [Emphasis supplied.]

K.S.A. 75-2550 states in pertinent part thus:

"Any taxing district which regularly levies one-fourth mill or more of tax for the support of a public library, and which taxing district has been included in a regional system, may petition to be excluded from the regional system. Such petition shall be made and presented to the state commission. The state commission shall consider any such petition and if such taxing district meets the requirement for making such a petition and if excluding such taxing district from the regional system will do not manifest harm thereto, the state commission may enter its order excluding and detaching such taxing district from the regional system and making such adjustment to the organization of such regional system as may be appropriate to continue the operation of the regional system without interruption." [Emphasis added.]

Under K.S.A. 75-2551, each system board is authorized to levy a tax for library purposes upon all property which is (1) "within the boundaries of such regional system" and (2) which is not within the boundaries of a district supporting a library. The requirements are thus twofold, and each must be met separately and independently. Under K.S.A. 75-2550, a taxing district may not be excluded from the regional system until it is qualified to petition the state commission for exclusion, and its petition has been approved. Under K.A.R. 54-1-17, a governing body may not even submit a petition for the exclusion unless "the governing body of such a public library has regularly levied one-fourth mill or more of tax for supporting of said public library for a period of not less than two years. . . ."

Until the township in question has been duly excluded from the regional system, it remains within the boundaries of the regional system, and is subject to its levy, notwithstanding it is also within a district which levies a tax for support of another public library.

- Quoted from Kansas Public Library Laws, Attorney General’s Opinions and Rules and Regulations, State Library of Kansas, March 1979.


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