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Survey: Libraries are popular in Miami-Dade. A tax hike to fund them? Less so

@PatriciaMazzei

Miami-Dade County residents truly love their libraries, but they don’t necessarily want to pay more taxes to fund them.

Those are the findings of a new poll conducted on behalf of county government, which is trying to find ways to save the public library system from deep budget cuts. Ninety-five percent of respondents who use the library and 72 percent of non-users said libraries add to their quality of life. Eighty-three percent of respondents disagreed with a statement calling libraries “outmoded, obsolete and no longer necessary.”

Yet support for increasing the property-tax rate — likely the only way to grow the libraries or even keep them intact — was inconsistent, according to the survey by Behavioral Science Research, a Coral Gables-based firm.

Forty-four percent of respondents said they would be OK with a tax-rate hike, with 20 percent undecided.

Robert Ladner, the president of Behavioral Science Research, called the support “soft.”

“It is a very vulnerable area,” he said this week to Mayor Carlos Gimenez’s task force examining the libraries’ future.

More here.

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