Updated: February 16, 2014 6:29AM
Saying that the number of calls it handles is increasing 15 percent every year, the New Lenox Fire Protection District will have a referendum question on the March 18 ballot seeking an increase in the property tax rate.
An increase from 36 cents to 48.9 cents per $100 of equalized assessed valuation would result in the owner of a $200,000 home paying $86 more per year in property tax to the fire district, according to a press release from the district.
The increase would allow the fire district to provide upgraded services to district residents, the release said.
The fire district tax rate has not been increased since 1989, according to the district. The population in that time has more than doubled, from 16,574 to 34,063, and the number of commercial and industrial buildings also has grown, the district said.
Approving the increase would create funding to keep ambulance service free to fire district taxpayers, would reduce insurance costs in the district by stabilizing manpower at existing stations, and would provide updated services and decreased response times to underserved areas, the release said. Old equipment could be updated or replaced, and turnover would be reduced with firefighters and paramedics being paid competitive salaries, the release said.