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Tax roll-up boosts Lincoln Parish Library budget

Friday, November 8, 2019

For the first time in several years, the Lincoln Parish Library will not spend more in 2019 than it brings in, according to the current amended budget approved by the library’s Board of Control Wednesday.

That’s largely thanks to the library’s property tax roll-up approved by the Lincoln Parish Police Jury in August.

Moving that millage rate — which was last passed by voters at 5.99 mills — from its previous 3.2 mills back up to 4.65 mills is projected to generate an extra $670,000 or so in revenue for the library when this year’s property taxes are collected.

That boost will allow the library’s $2.2 million budget for this year to finish in the black by about $8,000, meaning its roughly $3 million fund balance will not be lowered, as it has been since the police jury began to reduce the millage in 2014.

The library board reviewed both its amended 2019 and proposed 2020 budgets Wednesday, unanimously voting to recommend them without changes for police jury approval.

The library funds will be included as the jury considers its overall 2019 and 2020 budgets Tuesday.

The library will bring in $2.279 million this year and spend $2.271 million.

That’s about $142,000 less than it was originally projected to spend. Director Vivian McCain said part of that spending difference comes from temporary losses and waiving of some services after the April 25 tornado that hit Ruston.

The 2020 proposed budget, meanwhile, estimates the library fund will finish about $200,000 in the red, with revenues remaining around the same $2.2 million and expenses going back up to $2.4 million.

McCain noted a handful of changes to next year’s budget as she presented it to library board members, including a $40,000 swing in how much will be spent acquiring electronic materials for patrons to check out compared to physical materials.

The library board approved both budgets for recommendation to the jury without extensive comment. The jury’s next meeting is Nov. 12.