CONTRACTS FOR LIBRARY SERVICE. Letter, September 12, 1960, to Rae E. Batt, County Attorney for Edwards County, Kinsley, Kansas.
Dear Mr. Batt:
You have furnished this office with additional facts regarding a proposed contract between Edwards County and the library of the City of Kinsley for the furnishing of service by the library to the inhabitants of the county. A previous letter expressed the opinion that such a contract would be authorized by G.S. 1959 Supp., 12-1230.
You state that an Edwards County township containing a third-class city now maintains a township library by tax levy. You believe it will be necessary for the county to contract with both the township library and the Kinsley library for library service, because a contract with the Kinsley library alone would result in duplicate taxation upon the township for library purposes.
We do not feel that a contract with the Kinsley library would result in duplicate taxation. Taxation is a plenary power of the legislature, which has delegated this power to political subdivisions to support certain authorized activities. The county is given authority to levy a tax for library purposes, as is the township. Double or duplicate taxation as understood and defined by the courts, results when the same taxing authority taxes twice, for the same purpose, the same year, some of the property in the territory in which the tax is levied, without taxing all of it a second time. (Cooley, Taxation, 4th Ed., Vol. 1, § 223, page 475.) In your situation, a tax would be levied by two separate taxing authorities, each having power to levy the tax, and the tax would be uniform within the territory subject to each tax. A comparable situation would be taxes levied by a township and the county, both for road purposes. Other instances where a township and county both have authority to carry on certain activity and may levy taxes within their jurisdictions for its support, may be found in the statutes.
It may be that as a matter of policy, one of the taxing authorities may desire to cease or forego its activity, in view of a similar activity carried on by another taxing authority. However, such a policy decision should not be confused with the question of power to carry on the activity and levy taxes within the taxing area for its support.