STATE LIBRARY BOARD - REGIONAL SYSTEM. Letter, August 12, 1966, Robert H. Meyer, Jewell County Attorney, Mankato, Kansas.
Dear Mr Meyer:
Question: If a regional system of cooperating libraries is established under K.S.A. 1965 Supp. 75-2547 et. seq., on July 1, 1966, when may it first levy a tax?
Answer: In 1967, to finance its budget for 1968.
The cited statutes provide for the establishment throughout the state of regional systems of cooperating libraries, each of which is to have a governing body denominated the "system board." K.S.A. 1968 Supp. 75-2551 provides that "The system board shall be subject to the cash basis and budget laws of the state. The budget of the system board shall be prepared, adopted and published as provided by law and hearing shall be held thereon in the first week of the month of August of each year. 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." The same section authorizes the "system board" to levy not more that one-half mill on all the territory within the boundaries of the regional system. In short, the system board is the governing body of a taxing subdivision comparable to a city, township, county or school district.
K.S.A. 1965 Supp. 79-1807 provides in part: "Any organization or incorporation of any municipality or other taxing district . . . of the state of Kansas, made according to law, shall take effect for taxation purposes on the last day of December following any such organization, incorporation . . ." with certain exceptions. The result is that since taxes for 1966 will be due November 1, 1966 (K.S.A. 79-1804) and are payable December 20, 1966 (K.S.A. 79-2004 and 2004a), a taxing district whose organization does not effect for taxation purposes until December 31, 1966, cannot levy 1966 taxes.
K.S.A. 79-1807 does contain certain exceptions, none of which we believe applicable to the present situation. The one which comes closest is subsection (c) which speaks of "whenever an entire municipality or other taxing district is merged or consolidated with another municipality or taxing district on or before June 30 of any year." We cannot view the creation of a regional system of cooperating libraries as a merger or consolidation inasmuch as the participating boards or library districts retain their individual identity and under K.S.A. 1965 Supp. 75-2550 may contract with each other and with the system board. The same section contemplates that the participating boards will also continue to levy taxes for library purposes.
Of course, in 1967 the system board will be able to adopt its budget in August and certify a levy collection in November of that year, the first proceeds of which will be available under K.S.A. 79-2934 sometime after January 1, 1968.