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The original item was published from 2/2/2016 7:25:00 PM to 2/2/2016 7:32:10 PM.

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Posted on: February 2, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Rescue Tax Facts

- Your Fire district responds to over 3700 emergency calls per year. That is more than 10 responses each and every day!

- Your Fire District operates three Fire Stations, each will a Paramedic equipped Fire/Rescue Engine and an Advanced Life Support Ambulance in order to cover over 24 square miles and protect over 40,000 people.

- Having enough resources and locations staffed 24/7/365 in order to keep response times below 6 minutes is critical for public safety.

- Home fires can double in size every 30 to 60 seconds. Home fires can "flashover" in as little as 4 minutes. Once flashover has taken place, there is little or no chance for survival in the fire area.

- After 8 minutes, an unconscious, non-breathing person has little chance for survival.

- The Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District is a separate unit of government and cannot levy taxes or impose fees in the same way a Village or other home rule community can. We must ask the voters first if we wish to raise taxes!

- The Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District has not sought a tax levy increase since November of 1997, when it incorporated a full time ambulance service.

- Declining property values have significantly reduced the District's revenue. The Equalized Assessed Value (EAV) of real property in the district has declined by 37%. The District gets over 90% of its revenue from property taxes. "Tax Cap" laws limit our annual increases to the Consumer Price Index. (Currently less than 1% ) !

- A recent Federal Court anti-trust case, filed and won by a large fire alarm monitoring corporation, has forced the District to cease its ownership and operation of the District's commercial fire alarm system. This has resulted in an annual loss of revenue exceeding $400,000!

- The new Affordable Care Act (Obama-care) now requires the District to provide paid health insurance to our part-time firefighters. This new unfunded mandate may cost as much as $200,000 per year.

- In order to offset these revenue losses, the District has had to:
- Defer virtually all capital improvement projects
- Postpone the establishment of a vehicle replacement fund
- Halt, indefinitely, the formation of a Dive/Rescue Team
- Eliminate virtually all off-duty Safety Public Education Programs
- Permanently eliminated 3 administrative positions
- Civilianized and privatized all human resources and IT functions
- Cut the Fire Prevention staff in half

Further cuts will be necessary if new revenue cannot be generated.

The new Emergency Rescue Tax referendum will appear on the March 15, 2016 elections ballot. The referendum will state:

Shall the Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Fire Protection District, Kane and McHenry Counties, Illinois, be authorized to levy a new tax for emergency and rescue crews and equipment purposes and have an additional tax of .10% of the equalized assessed value of the taxable property therein extended for such purposes?

If passed, the Emergency Rescue Tax will add approximately $67 to the tax bill of a home with an Equalized Assessed Value of $200,000, (or about $33.33 for each $100,000 of EAV).

If passed, the revenue generated will offset the lost revenue listed above and permit the District to maintain current levels of service, pay for its ACA healthcare mandate, establish a vehicle replacement fund and restore proper levels of Fire Prevention, Public Safety Education, and Technical Rescue capability.

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