Posts Tagged tax increase referendum for fire district

Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue District news

Excerpts from the DailyHerald.com:

A Kane County judge has ordered a do-over for the Fox River & Countryside Fire/Rescue District referendum for Nov. 6 because the early voting and election day ballots in the spring were incomplete.

The rescue district’s tax increase question was rejected by 32 votes in the March 20 primary election, but Ken Shepro and other residents filed a lawsuit arguing the Kane County clerk failed to include a sentence on the ballot explaining what the tax increase would cost homeowners. That sentence is required by state law for tax increase questions and the clerk’s office failed to fix the problem after being notified, the suit says. In this case, it should have informed voters their taxes would increase $53 a year for every $100,000 in equalized assessed value of a home.

According to the lawsuit, Kane County Clerk John Cunningham was informed during early voting that the ballot question was incomplete. The remedy was to have election judges hand applicable voters a slip of paper explaining the tax increase’s effect for each $100,000 value of a home. Some voters got the slips but many did not.

Fire officials have said the tax increase was needed to avoid closing one of the district’s two fire stations every other day. Since the ballot effort failed, officials have cut several firefighters.

thanks Dennis

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Leyden Township Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the ChicagoTribune.com:

The Leyden Fire Protection District has a referendum on the March 20 primary ballot. The district is seeking support for a $1.5 million bond issue, which would be used to purchase a new ladder truck and ambulance, said Fire Chief Kory Ryan and board President Randy Olinski.  If it is approved, fire district residents can expect an increase on their property tax bills of nearly $2.50 more a month or $30 more a year.

The district is looking to replace a 1996 fire truck and 2013 ambulance, both of which have outlived their life expectancy, and repair and maintenance costs are more expensive. 

Officials said the bond, which would take effect in 2019 and stretch over the next 10 years, is enough to cover the expenses of the two vehicles. The estimated cost for a ladder truck is $1 million, and an ambulance could range between $200,000 to $300,000.

“We just can’t do it,” Olinski said. “With the cost of health insurance, pensions … the economy took a dive. We live on property tax money. We live on sales tax money. We’re not a municipality. There is no mayor that says, ‘I’m only going to give you $1 million to spend. Live with it.’ We are self-sufficient — by taxes only.”

“Unfortunately, with tax rate caps and property values [and] equal assessor’s rates dropping, we’ve gotten less and less money since 2006,” Ryan added.

While the district is responsible for protecting those in the unincorporated area of the township, it is also a part of MABAS Division 20, meaning it provides mutual aid to about 15 surrounding communities such as Bellwood, Melrose Park, Rosemont, Schiller Park and Westchester. 

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Morris Fire Protection District news

Excerpts from the morrisherald-news.com:

The Morris Fire & Protection District will be seeking a tax increase on the March 20, 2018 general election. The district approved unanimously on Nov. 16 a measure to place a referendum on the ballot to impove ambulance service for residents and visitors to the district.

If the referendum passes. it would increase the maximum ambulance tax rate for the district from 10 cents per $100 to 35 cents per $100. If the district levied the full amount available, the owner of a $100,000 home who is currently paying $3 for the service would see an increase of approximately $7 per month in ambulance service taxes.

“The district has taken a very fiscally responsible approach to budgeting and the trustees will continue this effort,” Board President Dave Bonomo said. “To meet the needs of our District taxpayers and provide outstanding ambulance and fire response we are asking for our first-rate increase in 25 years.”

The district would take the maximum increase and purchase another ambulance while the additional funds will be used to replace the 72-year-old downtown fire station. The district has a capital fund for building replacement that currently has a balance of $1.6 million dollars. The estimated cost of replacement is $2.75 to $3 million dollars.

The district serves approximately 22,000 residents across 140 square miles in Grundy County.

The board determined that the district needs to expand its advanced life support (ALS) ambulance coverage to district residents due to the continued increase of emergency medical calls. To increase ALS coverage, the district would add a third ambulance to its current fleet available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

The district has been operating on the current tax rate since 1992 and feels it needs this increase to provide the needed services for the increase in calls and an aging population. If a majority of voters in the district approve, the district would be permitted to increase its ambulance levy up to a maximum of 35 cents per $100 of equalized assessed valuation.

In addition to the expanded ALS ambulance coverage, the district also plans to use the increased tax revenue to replace aging emergency vehicles and to retain trained personnel.

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