Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

Citing health insurance costs and aging apparatus, the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District will ask voters for a property tax hike on March 15 at a rate of 0.1 percent of taxable property value, as per state law.

If voters approve the additional tax during the March 2016 election, a home with a market value of $200,000 would pay an additional $67 in property taxes per year, Fire Chief Peter Van Dorpe said.

From the district’s roughly 40,000 residents, the tax would generate about $900,000 in additional revenue. The fire district is facing a $600,000 hole in its nearly $10 million budget, Van Dorpe said.

Though the district formerly operated a commercial fire alarm system, which generated $400,000 per year, a recent federal decision to prohibit such systems forced the district to shut down the operation.

Additionally, Van Dorpe said the district will soon have to provide health insurance to its nearly 20 part-time employees, which will cost about $200,000 per year.

He added that property values within the district have declined 34 percent since 2010, the village’s main source of revenue.

To save money, the district has already cut its administrative staff by 40 percent and reduced the number of firefighters in the station from 19 to 15 per day. An assistant chief position has been civilianized, and all information technology work is being contracted out.

In addition to filling the hole in the budget, the new tax would go toward capital improvement projects, such as purchasing new apparatus. A new ambulance, for example, costs roughly $260,000, a fire truck is $600,000, and a rescue ladder truck is upward of $1 million.