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Library Tax Referendum Passes

From the moment the first precinct was counted Tuesday night it was clear the ballot question asking Pittsburgh residents if they wanted to increase their property taxes to support the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh was going to pass.

"The Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh is a much trusted and respected and really loved institution here in the city of Pittsburgh," said library board member and Pittsburgh City Councilman Patrick Dowd. "We sort of knew that going in and we knew how much people care about the work librarians do every day and that is what really carried the day."

When all the votes were in the ballot measure passed with 72% of the vote.

The measure requires the city to add .25 mills to the city's tax rate. The money collected is earmarked for library operations.

There was no real opposition mounted against the tax hike but supporters still held rallies, distributed flyers and generally pushed their cause as if it was going to be a close vote.

Dowd said the tax will not solve all of the libraries problems. The tax is one part of a 6-part plan to secure the financial future of the library. The library and its board will continue to press for better state funding and will work to build the endowment, among other things.

"I tell you what, after today we are energized to continue that work and it's going to be great to work on those other five pieces with this great step behind us," said Dowd.