South Pasadena citizens overwhelmingly voted for the renewal of Measure L, a parcel tax that supports the public library, during the municipal elections on November 3. The measure, which has been renewed three times since 1914, is designed to provide means for the library to maintain the level it has been functioning at for past two decades. About 81% of voters approved the measure, which would increase the library tax rate to $32 to $64 a year for South Pasadena household over the next eight years.
“[The public library] is so important to students because it’s where we learned to read or at least tried to,” junior Grace Kim said. “It offers a vast array of resources and opportunities [for the community].”
The tax currently generates about $230,000 per year, which makes up 15% of the library’s total budget.
The library would have been forced to cut hours, lay off employees, and operate fewer than seven days a week. Senior Librarian Maida Lin Wong said that the tax provides more hours, upkeep, and events for the library that would not be possible without the tax boost.
“It is a relief because I don’t think the residence would want fewer hours or services at their library,” Wong said.
The Measure L parcel tax will remain until 2024, when it will expire and have to be voted upon again.