Library Referendum

414 Proposition FAQs

Please vote on Proposition #1 on Election Day, Tuesday, November 5, 2019.

Remember to flip the ballot to vote!


1. What is a 414 vote?

Chapter 414 of the laws of 1995 in New York State, also known as the municipal ballot option, enables the taxpayers of the town to establish the municipal budget appropriation for the library. Should the vote pass, the Town of Putnam Valley will fund the Library at the approved level.

2. How many votes are needed for passage of the library appropriation proposal?

A majority of votes cast in the election on November 5, 2019.

3. Will this impose a new tax?

No, this is not a new tax. This is an increase to the tax you already pay to support the Library.

4. Will the library tax automatically increase every year?

NO! ONLY THE VOTERS CAN RAISE THE LIBRARY TAX. The Library Board does not have the authority to raise the taxes. Once approved by the voters, the total tax revenues supplied to the Library will remain constant each year. In the future, should an increase be necessary, the community would need to sign petitions once again to have the request put on the ballot for voter approval.

5. How much will my family have to pay?

What you pay depends on your home’s assessed value. The chart below will tell you what the cost of the Library will be for your family. If your house has the median home value for Putnam Valley, $350,000, then the amount your family pay will increase by $19.12 per year. (see chart)

Click the chart to view a larger version. Image will open in new tab. 

6. What kind of institution is the Putnam Valley Library?

The Putnam Valley Library is chartered by the Board of Regents of the University of the State of New York as a not-for-profit educational corporation. It is categorized as an association library, and is part of the formal education infrastructure in New York State. New York State considers a library to be a public service, that should be supported with public funds.

7. If the Library is a New York State institution, is it funded by the State?

The State expects libraries to be supported by their local communities.

8. How will the requested funding improve the lives of residents in our community?

    • Improve the Library’s accessibility and services for all members of the community:
      • Bring the library into ADA compliance
      • Create a professional, accessible, and mobile-friendly website with 24/7 library resources
      • Remove the barrier of library fines
      • Expand services and programs for people of all ages and abilities
      • Improve book, media, and digital collections
      • Expand technology and STEM programming
  • Sustain the future of the library by dedicated investment in:
    • Regular maintenance and repair of our building and grounds
      • HVAC
      • Renovate community room
      • Upgrade elevator
    • Lowering our carbon footprint and offsetting future energy costs
    • Upgrading and expanding technology to stay current with new developments and patron needs

9. Where does the current revenue for the Library come from?

In addition to the town’s appropriation for library services, the Library board and staff regularly pursue grants and donations. We are grateful for the grants and donations we receive and the opportunities they afford us. However, the grants and donations we receive are not sufficient to cover the operating costs of our Library. Moreover, grants and donations are not predictable revenues on which to base an operating budget. There are better forms of supplemental income. Grants in particular are given to meet a specific need and are not usually available for the unrestricted funding of Library services. While the Putnam Valley Library makes continued efforts at fundraising through avenues such as private donations, book sales, etc., these monies do not represent a predictable, long-term source of sustainable funding.

10. How is the Library currently funded?

Click the graph to view a larger version. Link will open in a new tab.

11. Did you know Putnam Valley Library provides:

  • free access to a diverse collection of over 3 million books, CDs, DVDs, magazines, newspapers, eBooks and downloadable audiobooks
  • equal access to WiFi, public computers, printing, copying and fax services
  • free programs, public services, and technology resources for all ages
  • meeting, exhibition and performance space for community members
  • knowledgeable staff to help with research, homework, and one-on-one computer help

It is a transformative place where community members of all ages and all backgrounds have come more than 23,000 times in 2019, to learn, share and grow. The library provides educational enhancements that bring families together, sustain learning and break down barriers. It expands horizons and puts a universe of resources within reach.

12. How do other towns fund their libraries?

All libraries in the Mid-Hudson Library System are supported by public funds; 90% of libraries in the region have a public vote on those funds. We think we should join them.

13. What will happen if this 414 vote fails?

If the taxpayers do not support this 414 vote, the Library will potentially have to adjust service offerings, including reducing the range of programs and events, scaling back hours of operation, and purchasing less new materials and equipment. Reductions to reflect the level of funding supported by the taxpayers would take place annually based on the diminishing purchasing power of the same fixed tax revenue.

14. When and where will the vote take place?

The vote will take place on Election Day – Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at your usual voting place. All registered voters in the Town of Putnam Valley may vote on this proposition. To be able to vote in this election on Tuesday, November 5, you must register to vote by Friday, Oct. 11.

To find your polling place, or learn more about Early Voting, which starts on Saturday, October 26, visit


Remember to flip the ballot to vote on Proposition #1.

Click here to view a PDF document with information about the 414 proposition.