Arizona HB 2379

HB 2379 sounds innocuous on the surface: Special Districts; secondary levy limits. Where’s the harm in that? The average person likely doesn’t even know what that’s referring to. Even if you look at it more closely, it doesn’t sound that bad: “HB 2379 limits secondary property taxes levied by county free library, county jail, and public health services districts.”

Well, shit, those librarians don’t need their own secondary property tax, right? Do people even need libraries? We all have computers, right? This won’t be so bad.

Here’s what happens if this bill passes.

Long story short: ten libraries get closed while the rest get gutted. If you’re curious, yeah, I’m biased, since my library is one of the ones on the chopping block. So that’s awesome.

I’ve seen several comments on the various newspaper articles mention something to the extent of “they’re not cutting funding, just limiting funding, it’s not the same thing, so shut up.”

Here’s the thing; the current budget is unsustainable long-term. It’s kind of like how when your personal budget is tight so you hold off going to the doctor or the dentist or getting some work done on your car? It’s a short-term solution. Eventually, your transmission will explode or your teeth will rot or you’ll get sick and then you have to address those things.

Well, yes, we’re operating on a cut down budget for this year because that is what you do when money is tight. You buckle down and cut what you can, knowing that it won’t be permanent and that when money starts flowing again, you can address some of the things you let slide during the hard times.

If the budget gets cut down right now, when it’s already been set as something unsustainable in order to practice fiscal discipline, it’s a death sentence.

If you’re in Arizona, contact to your representatives and oppose this bill. Because even if you think that libraries are archaic now that we all have computers, even if you think that books are a waste of time, please keep in mind that for some people who are not as privileged as you to own your own computer and have Internet access, the public library is the only place they can go to get this vital access.

And there are some people who actually read books. Made from dead trees and everything! Imagine that.