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Fresno County Voters Approve Library Tax Renewal, While Measure O Trails

Nov 7, 2012

Voters line up outside the Fresno County elections office in downtown Fresno on Tuesday
Credit Joe Moore / Valley Public Radio

A sales tax that for over a decade has helped fund much of the budget for the Fresno County Public Library system appears to be headed to approval. 

While some absentee ballots remain to be counted, Measure B holds a lead of 72-percent to 28-percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting. That's well above the two-thirds vote required for passage. 

The vote extends a one-eighth cent sales tax to fund library services until the year 2029. Fresno County voters first passed Measure B in 1998, and renewed the tax in 2004. It has generated over $160 million over the past 14 years.

County librarian Laurel Prysiazny released the following statement:

"Once again, the public has invested in Fresno County libraries through their votes. We are extremely grateful for their confidence in our efforts to use Measure B fund wisely and prudently to date. Their vote of confidence proves that communities value the library more than ever during these tough economic times."

Another measure before Fresno County voters didn't receive as warm of a response from voters. Measure O, which would make it easier for the Fresno County Board of Supervisors to outsource certain county functions such as the public defender's office, appears to be headed to a close defeat.

As of Wednesday morning, Measure O trailed by a little over 1,800 votes, 49.37-percent to 50.63-percent. That tight margin means that the final fate of the measure likely won't be decided until the county's remaining absentee ballots are counted.