[cifnmedia] South Macon fire district tax increase proposal

  • From: Sean & Kimberly Aaron <cifn@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: CIFN LIST <cifnmedia@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 7 Jul 2004 21:59:22 -0700 (PDT)

South Macon fire district tax increase proposal placed on ballot 

By RON INGRAM - H&R Staff Writer 

MACON - Voters in the South Macon Fire Protection District will decide this 
fall whether to increase real estate taxes to pay for training emergency rescue 
crews and buying equipment.

A proposal to increase the district's tax rate by 5 cents per $100 of equalized 
assessed valuation has been filed with his office by the fire district's board 
of trustees for inclusion on the Nov. 2 general election ballot, said Steve 
Bean, Macon County clerk.

The fire district's current EAV is about $34.6 million, meaning the nickel rate 
would add about $17,000 annually.

The district has a maximum general corporate tax rate of 30 cents for each $100 
of EAV but for 2003 only levied enough to generate a corporate tax rate of 
24.27 cents, said Bean, whose office extends real estate taxes, using the 
annual levies and EAVs to determine rates.

If the fire district levied sufficiently to achieve the maximum corporate tax 
rate, that would generate nearly $20,000 in additional revenue.

"We cover the biggest area of any fire district in the county, 162 square 
miles," said David Belskamper, the district's fire chief. "We serve about 4,000 

The new tax would help raise the money needed to purchase a new rescue truck 
which costs $203,000, Belskamper said.

The district's current rescue truck is a converted 1973 Chevrolet step van that 
is about the same size as the truck the district would buy but does not have as 
many equipment storage compartments as are needed, the chief said.

The district has 22 volunteer firefighters, and all but three of them are 
trained emergency medical technicians, Belskamper said.

While acknowledging that selling voters on the tax may be difficult, Belskamper 
is hopeful. He said several other area fire districts have sought the tax in 
the past, and all those referendums were approved.

Ron Ingram can be reached at ringram@;herald-review.com or 421-7973.


Sean A. Aaron (CIFN*1)
Central Illinois Fire Network

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