Local Government Ways & Means
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE
creation and financing of public libraries in rural and suburban areas of the state. The current
statute places the responsibility of executing the steps necessary for the creation or expansion of
such a district with the county commissioners. The current statute also provides for a five person
elected board of trustees and permits the use of a local sales tax to finance the construction,
operation, and maintenance of library facilities.
Large municipal public library systems such as the one operated by the City of San Antonio face
significant challenges in adequately serving the public's needs. Currently, the City of San
Antonio and its taxpayers bear about 90 percent of the cost of operating and maintaining its
public library system. The city also bears the cost of new facilities as it seeks to meet ever growing demands on the system.
In a few instances, other municipalities in Bexar County have sought to improve accessibility to
services by developing their own library facilities, but for the most part the San Antonio public
library system is called upon to serve the needs of the entire Bexar County region. New
legislation is needed to provide the statutory authority necessary to enable the development of a
library system that can better serve the needs of the entire county, distribute the costs of such a
system more equitably, and provide adequate funding for the system.
It is the committee's opinion that this bill does not expressly grant any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution.
SECTION 1. Amends Article III, Texas Constitution, by adding Section 48-d, to provide that
the legislature may, by law, authorize a library district to impose an ad valorem tax on property
located in the district at a rate not to exceed 15 cents per $100 valuation. Prohibits a tax from
being imposed under this section unless the majority of the library district voters voting at an
election held for that purpose approve the tax.
SECTION 2. Requires the proposed constitutional amendment to be submitted to the voters at
an election to be held on November 8, 2005. Requires the ballot to be printed to permit voting
for or against the specific proposition.
Requires the proposed constitutional amendment to be submitted to the voters at
an election to be held on November 8, 2005.