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The Tomahawk Leader is a state and national prize-winning weekly newspaper serving the scenic Northwoods area in and around Tomahawk, WI.

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PostPosted: Tue Oct 21, 2003 9:53 pm 
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Because of higher equalized values in Lincoln County's northern townships, we find a significant portion of our taxes levied for libraries drifting south to T.B. Scott Library in Merrill, a facility few residents in the north use. Take Bradley for example: Out of the $121,157 the residents are taxed for libraries, $40,900 helps fund the facility in Tomahawk and $80,200 goes to T.B. Scott.

Southern township residents pay only 40 cents per dollar of equalized value for library taxes and are closer to the larger library with more resources, while the Tomahawk library struggles to keep its doors open to accommodate the needs of local residents. And yet, these local northern townships write out checks for 60 cents on the dollar of equalized value every year.

What appears to be addressing a common matter of fairness, seven northern townships are seeking permission from the Lincoln County Board today to form a northern joint library. The result would mean funds generated by taxpayers in Bradley, Harrison, King, Skanawan, Somo, Tomahawk and Wilson townships would soley support the Tomahawk Public Library.

Morally, we find it difficult to argue against this proposal. "It comes down to fair taxation," observes County Board vice-chair Jim Alber of Tomahawk. "Basically, it's an unanswerable and unfair distribution of taxes," agrees board chair Gene Simon of Merrill.

The townships argue the people of Tomahawk are not utilizing the Merrill library, and it isn't reasonable that so many tax dollars are floated their way.

Circulation figures from recent years confirm the townships' allegation, showing that while 180 books were checked out by Bradley residents from the T.B. Scott Library within a given year, a whopping 28,000 were on loan from the Tomahawk Public Library. Circulation for the town of King reflected the same with a mere 750 materials taken from Merrill and more than 7,000 items checked out at Tomahawk.

The change wouldn't necessarily be easy. Removing the northern township's contribution means the southern townships will have to make up the difference - to the tune of $92,000 - to fully fund the Merrill library.

The northern townships have met the required local and state criteria to create a separate library system. The last hoop they need to jump through is obtaining the "okay" from the County Board.

It's time to all get on the same page, admit to the inequity and close this chapter. The authors behind the motion seek fairness, the logic behind the proposal has checked out and the separation is far overdue. Lincoln County supervisors were warned last month that this issue would come before them this evening and asked to reflect upon the notion. We hope that all the Lincoln County supervisors consider what is right for all the residents of Lincoln County.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 8:56 am 
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I see that the southern half of the county is still playing it's game of we have your money and we are going to keep it just because they can out vote us. I think it is time for the Tomahawk area to take it to federal court and get it straightened out once and for all. In the mean time I suggest keeping as much of our money in the north as we can. I for one will not do business with anyone south of hwy. J. Maybe if we show them we can hurt them in the pocket book they will pay attention and being such jerks about it. :mad: :mad:

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 3:06 pm 
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It irks me too, Old Scout. I'm disgusted with the setup where the entire county is milked to pay for the benefit of the Merrill area (the Pinecrest Nursing Home scam fleeces us thoroughly).
Until we can get the courts to pull those leeches off maybe we northerners should all go down to Merrill and check out as many T.B. Scott library items as we can and then, umm, 'donate' them to the Tomahawk Public library ;) .

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PostPosted: Wed Oct 22, 2003 3:09 pm 
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Brian,

Now I like that idea, Then the Tomahawk Library will save a lot of money on books and will have more to spend on staff so they can stay open more hours. Great plan !!!!
:D :D

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2003 11:37 am 
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I see that the Tomahawk Library dist. is considering taking the seperation from the merrill dist. to court. I hope that they push this all the way and get this mess settled. The southern half of the county has been milking us long enough. :mad:

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 06, 2003 2:59 pm 
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This goes right along with north of Hwy. 29 the state of Wisconsin ceases to exist. North of Cty. Hwy. C Lincoln county doesn't exist. Just our money for the use of the good ol' boys in Merrill. Let's hope our library gets it's just rewards. I'm all for shopping locally, but at times a trip to Wausau is called for, with a possible stop in Merrill. Maybe the good folks of Tomahawk and northern townships, that do the same should just skip the stop in Merrill. I know I for one haven't done any shopping Merrill for quite some time.

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PostPosted: Fri Nov 28, 2003 5:05 pm 
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I am very pleased to see that the Law Suit for the seperation of the librarys has gone ahead. I just hope that the Judge sees how much of a screwing the northern half of the county is getting on this deal. :mad:

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 04, 2004 7:55 pm 
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Has anyone heard how thing are going with the library law suit?

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