Library Tax Collection Rulings

Education Department Law Division Letter

The following letter from the Education Dept. Law Division is cited in several Comptroller’s Opinions and serves as a basis for libraries receiving the full amount that had been approved by school district voters regardless of shortfalls in tax collections:

2. Anticipation of Funds

“Where a tax for library purposes is voted by a school district pursuant to Section ...[259] of the Education Law, there is no authority on the part of the school district to prorate the amount of the library appropriation any more than the amount voted for salaries of teachers or other operational functions of the school would be prorated. It is the duty of the school authorities to raise the money voted and if the tax levy is not enough, then they are obligated to borrow whatever sum may be necessary in order to produce the amount of the appropriation voted for the library. ...A library board is not a municipal corporation as defined in section 2 of the Local Finance Law. Only a corporation within the definition of a municipality or school district as defined in said law, may borrow on tax anticipation notes. While it is true that the opinion in 50 State Department Reports 509 (the Long Beach Public Library case) states that a Library corporation has the power to borrow money, this is not authority for the issuance of tax anticipation notes. Section ...[260] of the Education Law provides that the trustees of libraries have all the powers of trustees of other educational institutions of the university as provided in the Education Law. Your board might borrow on whatever terms and by the issuance of whaterer evidence of indebtedness the bank making the loan might require, but not by a ‘tax anticipation note’ since that term is expressly defined in the Local Finance Law and is limited to use only by the corporations therein names” (Education Dept Law Div, ltr, December 1, 1949)

Comptroller’s Opinion 92-28 external link opens in new window

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