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PRINCETON — The Tiskilwa Rural Fire Protection District and the Village of Arlington are asking taxpayers of Bureau County to vote in favor of proposed tax increases.
Those are two of the referendums on the March 18 primary election ballot in Bureau County.
If passed, the extra revenue from each tax increase could benefit each community greatly, proponents say. The two proposed tax increase referendums are as follows:
Tiskilwa Rural Fire Protection District Question on the ballot: Shall the maximum tax rate be increased from 0.30 percent to 0.40 percent?
What it means?
Due to a lack of funds and volunteer emergency medical technicians, the Tiskilwa Rural Fire Protection District is requesting a proposed property tax rate increase of 10 cents per $100 of equalized assessed valuation, for the fire district corporate tax levy.
Jim Madsen, Tiskilwa Fire Board president, said the purpose for this increase is to fund payroll for the Tiskilwa Ambulance Service, which started 40 years ago as a volunteer organization funded by donations, memorials and fundraisers.
The core group of volunteers has since dwindled to three available EMTs a few nights a week. The current tax rate was sufficient to handle payroll for the original hires in 2009 and the stipend offered the volunteers, but now as costs have continued to rise, available funds have decreased.
Additional paid staff has been hired to replace the lost volunteers, raising payroll and worker compensation insurance.
The current tax rate will no longer support these changes, so the trustees of the fire protection district are asking for support to vote in favor of this increase to maintain the Tiskilwa Ambulance Service.
The increase would amount to about $33 extra on the bill for an owner of a property with a fair market value of $100,000.
Village of Arlington Question on the ballot: Increase general corporate tax not to exceed 0.4375%?
This would result in a “modest tax increase” for a homeowner with a $100,000 home, which would be one of the highest-valued homes in the village of Arlington, according to village attorney Jacob Frost.
He said homeowners would be looking at a $62 annual real-estate tax increase at the most, which would result in a minimal impact to most Arlington residents.
If passed, this tax increase could result in an extra $2,500 in revenue during the first year, but if assessments continue to go down, that increase in income may dwindle.
The additional revenue will be put into a general fund for village improvements including street repairs and maintenance.
The polls at the election will be open 6 a.m.-7 p.m. Tuesday, March 18.
Katlyn Rumbold can be reached at (815) 879-5200 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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