The St. James Library Tax (Proposition A) passed Sept. 30.
"It's a big relief," said Sara Ray, member of the St. James Friends of the Library. "We spent a lot of time working, canvassing, going door to door, to get out the vote this time."
The tax passed 52.95 percent yes to 47.05 percent no, with nearly 21.61 percent voter turnout. There were 287 yes votes to 255 no.
The 30-cent tax will go on the books this year and generate more than $100,000 revenue for the library, which has outlined a long-term plan for improvements and offerings.
The library, which was transferred to city ownership from the James Foundation in 2013, was relying on a one-time donation of $175,000 from the foundation to support its operations. However, now that it is publicly funded it will be eligible for public library grant opportunities in addition to the yearly tax receipts.
The number of voters who turned out for the election was relatively good considering the tax was the only issue on the ballot, said St. James City Administrator Jeff Davis.
"It's been hanging over our heads since we took over the library a year ago," Davis said.
This is the second time Proposition A has come before the electorate, after passing narrowly 340 to 338 in an August election. The results of that election were called into question after a ballot miscue resulted in the final tally being contested by Phelps County Clerk Carol Bennett.
Judge William Hickle ordered the certified ballot results tossed and a new election to be held.
During that time library supporters were active promoting the property tax, hosting a public forum to answer questions about the intricacies of the tax.
"We are very excited about the tax passing" said Ray. "We were out with our signs at the polls, and bringing people in to vote."
FOL offered to shuttle voters to the polls from the library during election day.
There were 678 total votes counted during the August election, with a full slate of state and local issues on the ballot including party primaries. Tuesday's election drew 542 total voters to polls with only the library issue on the ballot.
City residents voted on the tax, as only property within city limits will be subject to it. Those residing outside city limits will be required to pay an annual library fee to use services. The James Memorial Library Board announced earlier this month that those who own city property and pay the tax, but do not dwell within city limits will have the annual fee waived.
The tax will be levied 30-cents against every $100 of assessed property value. Current city statute allows the city to collect a 39 cent general revenue levy and a 6-cent parks and recreation levy for a current total of 45 cents per $100 of assessed property value. The library levy will bring the total city levy to about 75 cents per $100 of assessed property value.
It was conditional upon transfer from the foundation to the city for the library to remain open 200 days out of the year, and park to remain open 270 days, or risk voiding the conveyance of the property, meaning should the library or park close they would be transferred back to James Foundation ownership.