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Last minute reprieve for Indy libraries

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The budget increase serves as a welcome relief to Indianapolis public library system.

IndyGo buses and Indianapolis public libraries have been granted a much needed pardon, allowing them to continue providing their services in the upcoming year.

According to an Oct. 20 report by the Indianapolis Star:

A City-County Council committee on Tuesday endorsed measures that would alleviate budget crunches for the city's library and bus systems but won't solve their money troubles permanently. [...]

This week, council leaders from both parties agreed to add $1 million to the library's budget annually. IndyGo will receive a $1.5 million increase, but only next year.

Both of those increases will be offset elsewhere, however. The committee approved a proposal to reduce the tax levy of a city development-related fund by an even larger amount, resulting in a slight overall net reduction in the property tax rate. [...]

To offset the library and IndyGo tax increases, the council plans to reduce the tax levy for the city's Redevelopment District Sinking Fund by $3 million. That fund provides loans to economic development districts across the county when their tax-increment financing (TIF) revenue falls short of debt payments.

Although the library was spared the act of closing branches over the course of this year, it was done at the cost around three dozen jobs. To help remedy this problem, council and city leaders will meet to discuss long-term solutions for both the library and IndyGo. In that light, it's worth noting that the committee also passed the controversial $73.1 million operating budget proposed by the city's sports and convention board.

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