H.J.R. 98

                                                                                                                                     By: Menendez

                                                                                                     Local Government Ways & Means

                                                                                                       Committee Report (Unamended)






Texas law currently provides for the establishment of library districts in order to facilitate the

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.