Is your library in a growing community with a lot of new homes being built and a cramped library? Impact fees may be of some help.
The template in this PDF document (Library Impact Fee Template) may help, but read the description below first! The text in the template must, of course, be replaced with text specific to your library situation and state.
Hennen Library Consulting has experience in helping libraries develop impact fees to offset the costs of library expansion. In growing communities, the use of impact fees can be a very effective tool in library capital funding and development. An impact fee is a property tax assessment placed on a new home while it is being built. In states that lack a general enabling act, impact fees may be authorized for individual jurisdictions through special acts of the legislature. We have done impact fee assessments for libraries and will provide information on how they could work for a library or branch libraries.
The theory behind impact fees is that new residents impose an impact on the library that should be borne by the new resident rather than current residents. The cost of the impact fee is usually rolled into the purchase price of a newly built home.
The community taxing authority, your city or county, must endorse the proposed fees based on a plan presented to it by the library. The impact fee plan will ordinarily need to be developed by the library or its agents unless the county planning department or a hired consultant can develop it.
Libraries should consider this option, but it may or may not be the best solution for any given community at any given time.
In most states impact fees cannot be used to close existing deficits. The fees can only be used to maintain standards levels that are based on the impact of new residents. The library here meets or exceeds all current state standards for library service, but new residents will strain that capacity. That is the key consideration.