Voters reject Fox River fire tax hike for sixth time

The sixth time was not the charm for Fox River and Countryside Fire/Rescue District officials who were seeking a tax increase.

Unofficial results Tuesday show voters narrowly defeated the tax hike request by just nine votes; 951 against the measure to 942 in favor of it. Final tallies won't be certified for a few weeks to ensure all mail-in ballots were received.

Fire district officials estimated the owner of a $250,000 home would have paid an additional $135 a year in property taxes if it had passed. The new rate would have generated roughly $1.1 million additional property tax revenue for the district, Chief John Nixon said.

In January, Nixon lamented the current state of the district's equipment and need for capital improvements.

"We have equipment that's failing, radios becoming a safety issue, vehicles that are costing extra money to maintain because they're in many cases reaching the end of life, and staffing shortfalls that have created uncomfortable situations for us where we have to run short," he said.

Requests for a property tax hike also failed in 2006, 2009, 2015, 2017 and 2018.

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