Letter, April 5, 1972, Dean C. Gross, State Librarian, Topeka, Kansas.
Dear Mr. Gross:
You state that you have discovered that certain municipal governments in this State which have no public library within their boundaries are levying a tax for public libraries. In all cases, the income from these levies is not used to support library systems or any other library services, but, you indicated, is apparently being used for other purposes. You ask our recommendations regarding any steps you may take.
Levies for library purposes are authorized by a number of statutes distributed throughout K.S.A. 12-1215 authorizes a levy in all cities with a population between 35,000 and 150,000 persons, in which a free public library has been established as provided by law. Mill levy limits for cities of varying population classifications are found at K.S.A. 79-1948 et seq. K.S.A. 14-138a, -438b and 438d, relating to library levies for certain cities of the second class, were repealed in 1969. L. 1969, ch. 108.
The principal question raised by the facts you describe arises under the budget law, K.S.A. 79-2934, which provides in pertinent part as follows:
"The budget as approved and filed with the county clerk for each year shall constitute and shall hereafter be declared to be an appropriation for each fund, and the appropriation thus made shall not be used for any other purpose . . . .If moneys derived from a levy authorized for library services alone is being diverted to other purposes, a serious question arises whether the budget law has been disregarded and violated. Violation therof subjects any member of the governing body to removal from office. K.S.A. 79-2936.
"No part of any fund shall be diverted to any other fund, whether before or after the distribution of taxes by the county treasurer, except as provided by law."
I would appreciate it if you would bring the information which you have to the attention of Mr. George Yandell, Director of Municipal Audits, in the office of Mr. Clay Hedrick, State Auditor, for his consideration. If there are grounds to believe that violations by calling the matter to the attention of the responsible governing officials. This office will be happy to direct inquires to the appropriate municipal officers on the basis of any information which you provide us. One of my assistants, John R. Martin, will be happy to visit with you regarding this matter at your convenience.