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Frequently Asked Questions: For St. Charles Public Library District Non-Residents
Why Did I Get Free Library Service Where I Used To Live, But Have To Pay For It In Illinois?
Many people who move to Illinois from other states had county library systems at their previous residences. With county service, they often were unaware that some of the taxes they paid to the county were used to support their library. In Illinois, the amount a taxpayer pays for library service is shown clearly on the tax bill, so some new residents mistakenly think they have moved from an area with free library service to an area where they must pay for the service.
I Live In School District 303 In Campton Township And Don’t Have A Library. I Pay School Taxes, So Why Can’t I Use The Library Without Paying Extra?
The public schools and the public library are separate units of government with separate budgets. None of the school taxes you pay go to support the St. Charles Public Library.
Students Should Get Free Library Cards.
Illinois Library District law does not allow free student cards and requires the Library Board to charge a fee for library service for people who live outside the Library District that is equal to the tax paid by taxpayers. However, if an Intergovernmental Agreement is reached in which services are exchanged in equivalent value of library cards, this may be possible. The Library and Community Unit District 303 have an Intergovernmental Agreement that allows for students of the school district to obtain a Student Card. This process is reviewed annually to determine the value equivalency. For more information on how to receive a card, email the Youth Services Manager or D303 Administration.
Why Isn’t Campton Township In The Library District?
The St. Charles Public Library was established in 1906 as a township library, with the same boundaries as St. CharlesTownship. In 1979, voters approved the conversion of the Library to a District Library, but the boundaries remained the same. Later, the portion of School District 303 in DuPage County was annexed to the Library District.
Twice in the past 26 years (1984 and 1990), the Library initiated a referendum to give residents of CamptonTownship in School District 303 the opportunity to become part of the Library District. Both times, the vote was overwhelmingly against annexation. The 1990 referendum was part of a state grant the Library received to offer free library service to CamptonTownship for one year. During the year, more than half the residents obtained library cards, and the per capita use of the Library was higher than that of residents. However, the vote was 2 to 1 against annexation. More recently, in Fall 2004 the Campton Township Board of Directors conducted a mail survey of residents of School District 303 in CamptonTownship that once again showed the great majority of residents do not want to support a public library.
What Kind Of Fee Do I Have To Pay To Use The Library?
People who live outside the Library District may pay an annual fee for library service. This annual fee is not a flat fee. Like the resident taxpayer’s tax, it is based on the assessed valuation of the applicant’s residence. State law says the Library Board may extend local library service to non-residents, and, if it does so, it must charge a fee at least equal to that paid by residents. The Library Board uses the tax-bill method to determine non-resident fees because this method is fair to taxpayers and gives non-residents a realistic idea of what it costs to support a library.
Why Can’t The Annual Non-Resident Fee Be Replaced By An Up-Front, One-Time Fee?
- Like the property taxes which support the Library, the fee is annual because the cost to maintain a library is ongoing. State law requires a non-resident fee at least equal to the taxes paid by residents.
- The fee is based on the annual tax rate, which varies from year to year.
- The non-resident fee is optional. Many non-residents opt to purchase a card one year but not the next.