In the case of a city library, it is the city that does the borrowing on behalf of its library. All cities may borrow money and pledge the credit, revenue, and public property of the corporation for the payment thereof, in the manner provided by law, and to evidence the same by issuance of bonds, notes, or warrants [see Idaho Code section 50-237]. This is separate from the property tax levied by a city to support the maintenance and operation of its library [see I.C. § 33-2603].
A library district is an independent unit of government, a subdivision of the state, that may issue bonds to acquire, purchase, or improve a library site or sites; to build a library or libraries, or other building or buildings; to demolish or remove buildings; to add to, remove, or repair any existing building; to furnish and equip any building or buildings, including all facilities and appliances necessary to maintain and operate the buildings of the library; and to purchase motor vehicles for use as bookmobiles [see I.C. § 33-2728].
A library district may issue bonds in an amount not to exceed one percent (1%) of the market value for assessment purposes of property within the district, less any aggregate outstanding indebtedness.
District library bond funds may not be used to purchase or expand a building for a contracting agency providing library services unless the district library gains an ownership share in the building proportional to the percentage of district bond funds used to purchase or expand the building.
A library district’s board of trustees is authorized to create a plant facilities reserve fund. District library facilities plant facilities reserve funds may not be used to purchase or expand a building for a contracting agency providing library services unless the district library gains an ownership share in the building proportional to the percentage of district bond funds used to purchase or expand the building [see I.C. § 33-2729].
Whenever a library is contemplating a bond or plant facilities levy, it is important to begin by contacting the library’s attorney. It is also a good idea to contact the directors of other libraries that have run a successful bond election or plant facilities election.