From the Director: Personal Property Tax

You depend on your local community government for police and fire protection, safe drinking water, plowed roads in the winter, and other essential services. Access to information is an essential service provided to you by Kent District Library. In today’s knowledge-based economy, loss of this service will cripple our communities.

Some Michigan legislators are proposing elimination of an important source of funding through repeal of the Michigan Personal Property Tax (PPT) — a tax generally paid by businesses and corporations, not by individual taxpayers or homeowners.

Eliminating the PPT without a full and “stable” replacement would slash revenues for local governments, including cities, libraries, and schools, by another $1.2 billion. By stable source of funding, I mean funds that are guaranteed for essential local government services and protected now and in the future. 

Losing the PPT would be devastating for Kent District Library. It would mean a loss of $1.1 million in 2012, or approximately 7% of our total operating budget. Our branches are busier than ever with 6.4 million checkouts in 2010, up 11% over the  two previous years. People are turning to the library for community programming, information, entertainment, and job hunting/résumé writing resources.  Loss of the PPT would significantly impact KDL’s ability to deliver service at the level our community has come to expect.  Without these funds the Library will undertake layoffs, massive reductions in operating hours, and deep cuts to the collection budget.

If the PPT is eliminated, it must be fully replaced. Please join me in urging your state Senator and Representative to guarantee a full replacement of the personal property tax if they vote to repeal it.


Lance Werner Signature

Lance Werner, Director
Kent District Library

Lance Werner has served as the Director of the Kent District Library since 2011. He can be reached via email at, or by phone at 616-784-2091.

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Written by Lance Werner

Lance Werner

Lance Werner is the director of Kent District Library, the state’s second largest public library system. Before coming to KDL, he served as director of the Capital Area District Library in Lansing, and as Library Law Specialist at the Library of Michigan. He lives in Rockford, Michigan with his wife and four children.

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