Tax increases are never easy for voters to swallow. But sometimes the need is so basic and so compelling that we would risk greater long-term cost to the community by rejecting a tax as a way to keep expenses down now.

Such is the case with the Del Norte County Library.

Measure A on the June 6 ballot would generate $400,000 a year for our desparately underfunded public library. It involves a sales tax of one-quarter of 1 percent. For local consumers, that would translate into an extra 25 cents on a $100 purchase.

Why is it needed? Because even as demand for local library services has increased, our library has been slammed again and again by budget cuts. The library this year has an annual operating budget for only $180,000 about 40 percent of what its budget was in the early 1980s.

Del Norte's library is shamefully underfunded. In communities of our size statewide, the average per capita budget for libraries is $42. Here, it's $4.50.

Measure A will restore full-time operations at the main Crescent City branch and help expand services in outlying areas. It would help restore programs for youth, adults and seniors. It would provide funding for new technology and enhancement of facilities, improving access to library services. And it would provide money for new books.

To pass, Measure A needs two-thirds approval. In 2004, a similar library measure was on the ballot in Del Norte. It was frustratingly close to wining approval getting 66 percent voter support but it didn't pass. It has solid community support again this time around, but every vote is essential to pushing Measure A over the hump.

We urge Del Norte voters to give their support to the library supporting Measure A.

vote counts and we urge every voter to mark andquot;yesandquot; on their ballot.

by 20 percent in the past year and today the main Crescent City branch is open just four days a week. There is no money to buy books.

Measure A's one-eighth of one percent sales tax is the smallest increase possible. For shoppers, it would add only 13 cents to the cost of a $100 purchase. After four years, the tax will go away.

A good library is key to local adult literacy and childhood learning programs which in turn are keys to the future for our community and its residents.

The Daily Triplicate