The St. Tammany Parish Council has rejected a millage increase for the public library system. Times-Picayune reports the parish council voted Thursday night to maintain current taxing levels for libraries and 12 other property taxes under its jurisdiction.

The library board -- the only agency to seek an increase -- had asked the council to hike its rate from 5.35 mills to the voter-approved maximum of 6.29 mills.

The .94 mill increase would have provided an additional $1.5 million a year for libraries. It would have cost the owner of a $200,000 house an additional $12 per year.

Library officials have said they sought the increase to provide much needed revenue to make improvements to aging buildings, many of which are 20- to 40-years-old.

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