The board approved a resolution to allow a referendum to be added to the ballot that asks voters if they approve increasing the special library tax to .2978 mills, or $29.78 per $100,000 of assessed property value.
The resolution passed by a vote of 7 to 1. School Director Barry Long opposed the resolution. Director Robert Bold was absent.
The library was also mounting a campaign to raise 870 signatures to get the resolution placed on the ballot, but will end it as a result of the school board's decision, said Parkland Community Library President Karl Siebert. The library had gathered 607 signatures as of Tuesday, Siebert said.
“We would like to thank the residents who signed petitions for the referendum,” Siebert said in a news release. “Now we need these individuals to help us get out the vote on November 5 to make this new library a reality for Parkland. We also appreciate the volunteers who went out on behalf of the library to share their passion for the library and community through the petition process.”
The state library code allows a library to ask a school district or municipality to change the tax by placing a referendum on the ballot. School solicitor Steven Miller said "the school district is merely a vehicle the library needs to use... it's not our decision, it's up to the voters."
Director Roberta Marcus said the library tax would appear on the school district bill since it is the local taxing agent.
"Our only responsibility is to place the question on the ballot. We are neutral on that question [to raise the library tax]. It is the responsibility of the voters to make that decision," she said.
Residents currently pay .1 mill to fund the library, which serves Upper Macungie, South Whitehall and North Whitehall townships and a section of Allentown that is part of the Parkland School District.