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Voters in Monroeville boot tax hikes for library repairs, technology

Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express - Diane Lindsey talks in favor of the library tax with voters at the Crossroads Presbyterian Church. The controversial referendum proposing a library tax for Monroeville taxpayers was on the ballot.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express</em></div>  Diane Lindsey talks in favor of the library tax with voters at the Crossroads Presbyterian Church.  The controversial referendum proposing a library tax for Monroeville taxpayers was on the ballot.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express - Monroeville voters exit the polls at Crossroads Presbyterian Church where a ballot referendum proposing a library tax for Monroeville taxpayers stirred up controversy.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express</em></div>Monroeville voters exit the polls at Crossroads Presbyterian Church where a ballot referendum proposing a library tax for Monroeville taxpayers stirred up controversy.
Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express - Diane Lindsey talks in favor of the proposed library tax with David Mintz and son Nathaniel at the Crossroads Presbyterian Church. The controversial referendum proposing a library tax for Monroeville taxpayers was on the ballot. Chad Stubenbort, Republican Committee chairperson, stands in the foreground.
<div style='float:right;width:100%;' align='right'><em>Lillian DeDomenic | For The Times Express</em></div>  Diane Lindsey talks in favor of the proposed  library tax with David Mintz and son Nathaniel at the Crossroads Presbyterian Church.  The controversial referendum proposing a library tax for Monroeville taxpayers was on the ballot.  Chad Stubenbort, Republican Committee chairperson, stands in the foreground.

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By Kyle Lawson and Andrew Conte
Tuesday, May 20, 2014, 11:51 p.m.
 

Voters in Monroeville and Harmar rejected tax hikes to pay for library repairs and technology on Tuesday, while those in Cheswick and Springdale Borough and Township agreed to pay higher levies.

The proposed Monroeville increase was the largest of the library taxes on the special election ballots.

The referendum to increase the real estate tax by 1 mill was denied by 84 percent of voters with all precincts reporting, according to the Allegheny County Elections Division.

Monroeville resident Carmen Sapir, 69, said that although she appreciates the importance of a community library, she thinks the proposed tax increase was unnecessary.

“I was conflicted because I come from a long line of teachers and I love reading,” Sapir said. “But it's an ongoing tax and they're going to survive without that additional money.”

Voters in Harmar rejected a quarter-mill increase with 57 percent of voters opposed.

Similar library questions about increasing taxes by a quarter of a mill passed.

Voters in Cheswick and Springdale Borough approved the measures with 51 percent approval in each place.

The referendum was approved by a single vote in Springdale Township — 117 to 116.

In Monroeville, the tax increase would have added $107 to the annual tax bill of a home with the median municipal assessment of $107,000. The tax increase for the library failed two months after Monroeville Council approved a 1.57-mill increase for the general budget, which took effect in 2014.

The library tax would have generated about $2.3 million annually.

Kyle Lawson and Andrew Conte are Trib Total Media staff writers.

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