Opposition votes leading Algonquin fire referendum

  • The Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District wants to levy a new tax to help fund equipment and health insurance costs.

      The Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District wants to levy a new tax to help fund equipment and health insurance costs. John Starks | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 3/15/2016 11:43 PM

With 27 of 33 precincts reporting late Tuesday, a majority of the counted votes opposed an Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District referendum seeking a property tax hike for equipment and emergency and rescue crews.

Unofficial results showed 4,019 votes or 46.5 percent in favor of the referendum to 4,619 votes or 53.5 percent against it.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The district hoped to levy a new tax at a rate of 0.1 percent of taxable property value, which would generate about $900,000 in additional revenue, to go toward establishing a vehicle replacement fund and funding health insurance for part-time employees.

Fire Chief Peter Van Dorpe said earlier the district has cut staff and other costs to save money. Though not yet "in trouble," officials wanted the tax as a way to maintain a balanced budget and save money for new apparatus.

The owner of a home with a market value of $200,000 was expected to pay an additional $67 in taxes per year. The district has not asked for a tax increase since 1997, when it incorporated a full-time ambulance service.

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