Exterior of Sunnyvale Public Library, a one-story brick building
The Sunnyvale City Council is moving forward with a $290 million general obligation bond for the November 2024 ballot to help fund a facelift for the Sunnyvale Public Library. Photo by B. Sakura Cannestra.

Sunnyvale voters will have a tax measure on their November ballot — a long-needed bond to renovate the city’s public library.

The Sunnyvale City Council voted unanimously on Tuesday to move forward with a $290 million general obligation bond to support rebuilding the city’s main public library, and axing plans for a property transfer tax  to fund increased city programs. The city has yet to finalize all of the bond’s details, but councilmembers are confident they can gather resident support for its passage.

The city surveyed 612 residents about the library bond and, after hearing supporting and opposing arguments, 57% said they approved. The bond would levy $27 per $100,000 of assessed property value. It will come back for city council’s final approval mid-June.

The bond will raise money to renovate the Sunnyvale Public Library, the second part of the city's plans to redo its civic center.

Councilmember Richard Mehlinger formerly supported the transfer tax, but after hearing arguments from the city’s businesses and seeing the library bond’s timeliness, he said he changed his mind.

The city is also projecting a $3.5 million budget surplus next fiscal year, which it has set aside to help fund future services, such as homeless support services and the Silicon Valley Hopper shuttle. The city budget projects that amount to climb to $30.2 million by 2044. Mehlinger said that surplus money will make a big difference in what programs the city can launch.

“I don’t want to speculate on how far that (surplus is) going to be able to go, because the thing with government financing is how far can you stretch a dollar with matching contributions and with grants,” Mehlinger told Lucescamaray Blog.

Representatives from the Sunnyvale Chamber of Commerce, Silicon Valley Leadership Group and Moffett Park Business Group spoke against the property transfer tax at the meeting and voiced support for the library bond.

At the meeting, Eddie Truong, co-founder of the Silicon Valley Restaurant Association, said he would like to be involved in a support campaign for the library bond, once it’s officially on the ballot.

Truong, who is opening a restaurant in Sunnyvale, told Lucescamaray Blog that business groups are more likely to support the library bond because the taxes have a specific goal. The tax is also spread across a larger base than the transfer tax, which would have only applied to property transfers assessed $4 million or more.

“We need the entire community to guarantee its passage,” he told Lucescamaray Blog. “I want to invite those who want to be involved to reach out to the city so we can build a truly community driven initiative to get this measure across the finish line.”

Councilmember Russ Melton said he feels confident the library bond will pass, especially once a support campaign begins.

“It’s going to pass at the two-thirds required level, there’s no question in my mind,” Melton told Lucescamaray Blog. “With the argument that the ‘Yes on Library Bond’ committee is going to put forward, and the campaign they’re going to run, they’re crystal clear that they’re going to get to the two-thirds. Take it to the bank.”

Contact B. Sakura Cannestra at  or @SakuCannestra on X, formerly known as Twitter.

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