Talks had broken down over what the township could charge Bloomfield Hills for letting all of its nearly 4,000 residents borrow books. The township wanted about $1.4 million over three years, more than double what it charged the city from 2000 to 2003....
The township was fed up that its smaller neighbor was paying about $150 per household to use the library when township residents had to pay nearly $300 a household in property taxes for their own library. They now pay $403 per household.
"It just didn't sit well for taxpayers here or for the library trustees," said Karen Kotulis-Carter, director of the Bloomfield Township Public Library. "They're happy to share resources. Just be fair about it."
If the justices require libraries to sell cards to nonresidents, librarians worry it would undercut service deals they have with communities without libraries. Those communities could instead just tell their residents to apply for nonresident cards.This is a new issue to me, something I've never even considered as I use the services of my excellent county library system here. Common sense tells me that no one should be shut out from the public library nearest him. But it also tells me that all who use the library should be "taxed" equally whether that tax is a direct one for the benefit of the library or a fee charged to those not part of the official tax base. It should be simple enough to compute that amount for each library in Michigan or elsewhere.
That ultimately would reduce a stable and much-needed funding source for libraries, according to the Michigan Library Association and statewide groups representing cities, villages and townships. State government has been cutting aid to libraries because of recent budget deficits. Libraries have at least 200 service contracts with municipalities around the state.
The question is whether or not the Michigan Supreme Court has any common sense.