Chapel Hill doubled the size of a library — a $16 million expansion — and now is threatening to cut the library’s hours because there’s not enough money to operate it. The answer? A tax hike of course. The Daily Tar Heel failed to report the nature of the tax hike being considered, but presumably it is a 1-cent increase in the town’s property tax rate.

Facing a budget shortfall for the library, the council proposed reducing hours earlier this month. It will consider the tax increase to keep the library fully functioning at its new location.

In an email to the town council, Town Manager Roger Stancil said the proposed increase would generate about $728,000 to fund the library.


So are taxpayers to believe the town didn’t know it would cost more to operate a twice-as-big facility and the town would face an ongoing funding issue because of the expansion? At best, this is horrendous planning. And then there’s this comment from a town councilman.

Town Councilman Jim Ward said that while people might initially be against a tax increase, he thinks residents will support the increase if it is presented correctly.

“I think if it is articulated as to why that decision is being made that the majority of taxpayers can understand,” he said.