Measure B:

Libraries Local Funding Continuation


To continue existing, voter-approved funding for all San José's libraries and services, including: open hours; librarians; updated book
s/research materials; access to computer
s/technology; children's reading programs, story times, teen/senior programs; and adult literacy/job readiness, shall the City of San José continue its library parcel tax for 25 years, subject to independent annual audits and citizens oversight, with no change in the existing voter-approved tax rate formula?


what your vote means


Voting yes on this measure is a vote to continue the Library Parcel Tax for 25 years to be used only for library purposes.


Voting no on this measure is a vote to let the Library Parcel Tax expire on June 30, 2015.


campaign arguments


Proponent's Argument
Protect and maintain San Jose's neighborhood libraries, without increasing your taxes--Vote YES on B!

Neighborhood libraries play a critical role in our community. In 2013, residents made 6,000,000 visits to San Jose libraries. Over 200,000 children, teens, and adults attended library workshops, and 89,000 children and adults attended library literacy programs.

Twenty years ago, the community approved funding for San Jose libraries, which will expire unless renewed. Without extending this existing, voter-approved funding, tens of thousands of local students and residents will be affected--Vote YES on B!

Measure B is NOT a new tax.

Measure B is NOT a tax increase.

Measure B simply extends existing library funding.

Every dollar raised by Measure B goes directly to OUR San Jose libraries --and by law, cannot be used by politicians for any other purpose.

YES on B prevents neighborhood libraries from closing

YES on B provides safe computers for children to use and places to go after school

YES on B prevents elimination of children's reading programs

YES on B provides library services for local schools that don't have libraries at their school sites

YES on B keeps libraries safe and clean

Most of San Jose's libraries are only open four days a week, and only half are open on weekends. YES on B maintains library hours and helps keep libraries open at least one day on weekends.

Neighborhood public libraries are one of the few community centers left that benefit children, families, seniors and the disabled. Many seniors and families rely on libraries because buying books is just too expensive.

YES on B is subject to annual, published audits and Independent Citizens Oversight. Join the San Jose Mercury News, teachers, parents, librarians, community leaders and local business owners in voting YES on B to maintain funding for our local libraries!

s/ Gloria Chun Hoo

President, League of Women Voters, San Jose/Santa Clara

s/ Maria A. Evans

Elementary School Principal

s/ Carl Guardino

President & CEO Silicon Valley Leadership Group

s/ Jane E. Light

Retired Librarian

s/ Patricia Wolfe

Retired San Jose Resident/Taxpayer


Opponent's Argument
Vote "No" on Measure B.

Children's computers in San Jose libraries do not protect our children from graphic sexual pictures. Pornographic images are available to our children on the computers in the children's section of the San Jose Libraries. Santa Clara County Library District computers have pornography filters in place to protect the children of Los Altos, Cupertino, Los Altos Hills, Monte Sereno, and Saratoga from pornographic images.

The San Jose children that use our San Jose libraries deserve to be protected in the same way. In 2009, the San Jose library system refused to protect our children even though the costs to install the filters on the computers in the children's section were guaranteed by private contributions. Why reward the libraries which do not give our children the same protection children in other cities receive? Help make our libraries a safe place for children and families. No parcel tax extension until pornography filters are installed on the computers in the children's section of our libraries.

Protect our children.

Vote "No" on Measure B.

s/ Mary Anne Fifield

Pornography Addiction Specialist

s/ Larry Pegram

President, Values Advocacy Council

s/ Oretta Rodriguez


s/ Sue Sheffield

Elementary School Teacher/Parent

s/ Robert Varich

School Board Member, Moreland School District


impartial analysis

The proposed measure, if approved, would enact an ordinance amending the San Jose Municipal Code to extend an existing annual special tax on parcels of land for library purposes ("Library Parcel Tax"). The San Jose City Council placed this measure on the ballot. Under State law, passage of this measure requires two-thirds voter approval.

The Library Parcel Tax was originally approved by the voters in 2004 and expires on June 30, 2015. The amending ordinance would continue library funding provided by the Library Parcel Tax until June 30, 2040.

The land use classifications and Library Parcel tax rates imposed on those classifications would continue based on current rates: $29.84 on single-family parcels, condominiums and townhomes and the other specified rates for multi-family and other types of residential, industrial, commercial, professional, and vacant parcels.
Each fiscal year the City Council may adjust the Library Parcel Tax rates by the inflation rate in the Bay Area, not to exceed three percent. The amending ordinance clarifies the calculation of the inflation rate adjustment.

The amending ordinance does not make any other changes to the Library Parcel Tax in the Municipal Code. Existing features of the Library Parcel Tax are described below.

The Municipal Code exempts parcels owned by churches and religious organizations and used for religious worship and parcels owned by governmental entities.

The Library Parcel Tax would continue to be collected by the County in conjunction with the collection of property taxes. Payment of the Library Parcel Tax is subject to the same requirements applicable to the payment of property taxes.

The Library Parcel Tax proceeds are required to be deposited into a special fund and used only for library purposes, including the acquisition of library books and materials and related costs of maintaining library collections; the development and delivery of homework and educational programs; the repair, equipping and staffing of libraries; and the cost of collection and administration of the Library Parcel Tax.

The Municipal Code requires the City Council to appoint or designate an oversight committee to review the expenditure of the Library Parcel Tax proceeds. Annually, the City's Director of Finance must report in writing to the City Council for the prior fiscal year the amount of Library Parcel Tax receipts and the expenditures. Additionally, the City's independent auditor is required to annually audit the expenditure of the Library Parcel Tax proceeds.

The City Council may adopt clarifying amendments and corrections to the Municipal Code's provisions regarding the Library Parcel Tax. However, voter approval is
required to increase the Library Parcel Tax rate, other than inflation adjustments, or to extend the term of the tax.

Voting yes on this measure is a vote to continue the Library Parcel Tax for 25 years to be used only for library purposes.

Voting no on this measure is a vote to let the Library Parcel Tax expire on June 30, 2015.

s/Richard Doyle

City Attorney, City of San Jose


Additional information

Measure TypeParcel Tax
Required to Pass2/3 Approval Required


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