Libraries Matter

The St. Louis County Library Board of Trustees approved a tax levy ballot issue at their meeting on April 16.  The proposed 6 cent increase will fund long overdue renovations and replacements of the library's aging facilities, as well as enhancements to programs, collections and services. The measure, which will appear on the November 2012 ballot, is the first increase the library has requested of voters since 1983.

Helpful Information

Tax Campaign Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is the library going for a 6 cent tax increase now?

We need additional support to maintain the services that our community has come to expect from its library. We've done as much as we can with the current tax rate. Many of our library branches are in need of major renovation or replacement.

2. When was the last time the library asked for an increase?

The last time SLCL asked the voters for a tax increase was April 1983. That's almost 30 years!

3. How do I know the library will spend my tax dollars wisely?

SLCL is required by law to be audited by an independent CPA firm every year. The audits are public documents, which you can access online at or in person at Library Headquarters.

4. What will it cost homeowners?

The 6 cent increase would cost $23 per year on a $200,000 home. 

5. Where does St. Louis County Library rank in tax rates for other library systems?

Even if the proposed tax increase passes, SLCL will still be in the mid-range of tax rates as compared to other regional library systems.



Resident Rate

Commercial Rate

Agriculture Rate

Personal Property Rate

SLCL (Current)





SLCL (Proposed Increase)





Ferguson Library





Maplewood Library





Kirkwood Library





Valley Park Library





Rock Hill Library





Webster Groves Library





6. What benefits will my local branch library receive?

All branches will benefit from an increase in the collection budget. The collection budget is used to buy books, DVDs, databases, CDs, electronic resources and reference material--basically everything that gets checked out or used for reference.

In addition, several local branches need major repairs and renovations.

Revenue generated by the tax increase will be used to remodel or replace the branches that are most in need. A copy of the Master Facilities Plan is online at

7. With the growth of the Internet do we really need public libraries anymore?

Yes! In fact, St. Louis County Library just completed our biggest year ever in 2011 by circulating a record-breaking 12.7 million items. In addition, more than 5.7 million users came through our doors and more than 312,000 people attended programs at SLCL. It's pretty clear that St. Louis County loves its libraries!

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