San Jose voters sent Measure B, the proposal to extend the parcel tax to help fund the city's struggling library system, to a resounding victory.

Voters, by a four-to-one margin late Tuesday night, were agreeing to continue the current tax, which originally was passed in 2005 and due to expire next year.

"We're very happy," said Jill Bourne, the city librarian. "It's such a huge relief. Now the library system will have a stable funding source for years to come. Our libraries have been cut back so much, and now our No. 1 goal is begin adding back services."

The tax currently covers 22 percent of the library budget. Even so, the system has endured deep cuts to staff and library hours -- angering many residents -- as City Hall has tried to rein in San Jose's larger budget deficits.

The current tax bill for a single home is $29.84 per home. The amount increases with inflation, capped at 3 percent annually. It has risen only $10 per home since its passage a decade ago.

Proponents of the measure argued that failure to approve a 25-year extension of the tax would only further diminish library service instead of restoring lost hours.

There was opposition by the Values Advocacy Council, which sought to link the ballot measure to the lack of a filtering system that would block pornographic imagery from city library computers. San Jose officials previously have rejected implementing filters, upsetting residents who say the computers often are in plain sight of children.


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But Bourne, who took over the system last year, already has said that she wants to revisit the issue, and that it had nothing to do with the question of adequate funding.

"A library isn't just a warehouse of books," Bourne said. "It's a community center. And it's exciting to see that our libraries are so clearly supported by our residents."

Follow Mark Emmons at Twitter.com/markedwinemmons.