STATE LIBRARY AND LIBRARY SERVICES - REGIONAL SYSTEM OF COOPERATING LIBRARIES - LEVY AUTHORITY. Letter, June 6, 1989, to Duane F. Johnson, State Librarian, Topeka Kansas.
Synopsis: A regional system of cooperating libraries may levy in a county within its boundaries due to the participation of a school district library located in the county. Territory of the county may be excluded from the system, and thus the tax, pursuant to K.S.A. 75-2550. Cited herein: K.S.A. 75-2548; 75-2549b; 75-2550; 75-2551.
Dear Mr. Johnson:
You request our opinion regarding the participation of a school district library in a regional system of cooperating libraries. You question whether such participation enables the regional system to levy in the county in which the school district is located.
The regional system in question is the Northwest Kansas Library System (NWKLS). This system's territory includes the counties of Trego, Gove, Logan, Wallace, Graham, Sheridan, Thomas, Sherman, Norton, Decatur, Rawlins and Cheyenne. K.S.A. 75-2549b. The school district in question is located in Norton County, was admitted to the NWKLS pursuant to the petition process of K.S.A. 75-2550. Its territory has not since been excluded from the system.
K.S.A. 75-2548 (b) defines "participating library" as a library that is cooperating or participating in a regional system of cooperating libraries. Subsection (e) defines "library" to include school libraries. Thus, the statute appears to contemplate the ability of a school district library to participate as a member of a regional system. The statutes do not differentiate between school district libraries and county, city or township libraries.
K.S.A. 75-2551 provides in part:
"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 the budget shall be certified to the county clerks of each county in the territory of the regional system of cooperating libraries.In Opinion No. 73-312, Attorney General Schneider interpreted this language and concluded that "until [a taxing district] has been duly excluded from the regional system, it remains within the boundaries of the regional system, and is subject to its tax levy, notwithstanding it is also within a district which levies a tax for the support of another public library." VIII Opinions of the Attorney General, 132, 133 (1973). See also Attorney General opinion No. 87-108.
"Each system board is hereby authorized to levy not in excess of 3/4 mill tax to be used for library purposes on all of the taxable property within the boundaries of the regional system of cooperating libraries that is not within a district supporting a library with funds of the district."
Other statutes indicate that all of the territory of a county which contains a participating library is included within the taxing district of the regional system except for territory which has been properly excluded. K.S.A. 75-2549; 75-2550.
We believe the statutes are clear in authorizing the board of a regional system of cooperating libraries to levy in a county which is within its boundaries, regardless whether the only participating library in the county is a school district library. The only exception is for territory which has been properly excluded pursuant to K.S.A. 75-2550.
Very truly yours,
Robert T. Stephan
Attorney General of Kansas
Julene L. Miller
Deputy Attorney General