Did you know that the average family in Liberty pays $37.50 a year in property taxes to support parks? That means each and every family member has access to the parks, playgrounds, trails, tennis courts, disc golf course, dog park, play fields, spraygrounds, and more, for less than $3.15 per month. Tax dollars actually fund only about 18% of the funding needed to operate the Parks and Recreation Department facilities, programs, and services each year
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Liberty Parks & Rec staff works hard to be responsible with tax dollars afforded to the department. The department generates between 66-70 percent of its operating costs through fees and charges annually, which is more than double the national average. Studies show the average Parks and Recreation agency recovers its operating costs only 29-34 percent through fees and charges for programs and services.
The simple answer is because the Parks & Recreation Department is not a for-profit agency. As an arm of local government, it is expected that we do not turn away families or children in need and that we utilize our facilities in partnership with other public agencies to best serve taxpayers. Ensuring school students have space for theater activities or the Silver Center has space to convene, or high school swim teams’ needs are met are just a few of the expectations placed on our parks and recreation facilities.
Liberty Parks & Rec does not turn away any child because of the family’s inability to pay. With the Foundation’s help we are able to offer program and youth sport scholarships to families who qualify for free and reduced lunch programs at the schools. The department also subsidizes about $20,000 per year in Liberty Community Center memberships for families in need, for which there is no reimbursement.
Sure, and we do. The department regularly applies for and receives grants for specific programs and services exceeding $200,000 per year. Most grants, however, are extremely competitive and are for specific projects, not general operating costs. Others are grants intended to be passed on to residents to subsidize fees and charges paid for membership services.
Yes, the citizens of Liberty overwhelmingly supported the passage of a Use Tax on April 3. For the Parks & Rec Department, a portion of Use Tax revenues will help fund specific capital improvements at City Park, neighborhood parks and the Liberty Community Center. Donations to the Annual Campaign helps maintain the department's annual operations that otherwise would not be covered by user fees and taxes.
All donations received by the Liberty Foundation are dedicated to supporting the programs services, and facilities of the Liberty Parks and Recreation Department.
The Liberty Parks and Recreation Foundation has been recognized widely for its youth sports and program scholarship fund. This program assists families in need with registration fee subsidies to enable children to participate in youth activities alongside their peers. In addition to supporting the foundation’s scholarship program, projects funded in 2017 include:
Your tax deductible contribution will support the programs and services for Liberty kids, families, and community.
All donors will receive information at the end of the campaign year, recapping funds raised and outlining how funds were used.