New Lenox fire district to seek tax increase
BY ERIN GALLAGHER Correspondent February 3, 2014 9:14PM
Updated: March 5, 2014 6:03AM
Obtaining better firefighting equipment and keeping free ambulance service for its residents are the main reasons why the New Lenox Fire Protection District is holding a property tax increase referendum in the March 18 primary election, according to district officials.
They said the fire district has not had a tax rate increase since 1989. The proposed increase would raise the rate from 36 cents per $100 of equalized assessed value to 49 cents, according to a district news release.
It says if voters approve the tax hike, the owner of an average home with a market value of $200,000 would pay about $86 more per year in property tax to the fire district.
District Trustee Joe Levey said the district’s population has more than doubled since the last tax rate increase, and the number of businesses also has increased. During the last three years, the district’s call volume has risen by 15 percent each year, he said.
Levey said revenue from the tax hike would enable to district to continue free ambulance service for residents and acquire new equipment and vehicles and update existing ones to reduce response time.
“If we get (the referendum passed), it means we are going to have a safer, higher quality of life for our residents,” he said.
The fire protection district operates four stations and also includes portions of Mokena, Homer Township and Manhattan Township.