.30 tax levy would fund Fire District No. 1

Angie Talken
Chillicothe News

On the April 6 ballot voters in the boundaries of the Chillicothe Fire Protection District No. 1 are being asked to approve a .30 tax levy.

In August, voters approved the creation of the district, however, the levy failed to pass at the time. 

Ed Daughtery, president of the board, said that the district is currently funded by $150 annual membership fees, which are paid by approximately 530 members. Should the levy pass funding for the district remain about the same.

With the passage, everyone in the boundary of the district would then have coverage; most current members who pay the annual fee will save money.

"With the tax everyone inside district boundary would pay the tax, instead of just a portion and everyone would be covered," Daughtery explained saying while the district responds to fire's to both members and non-members, non-members are charged for services.

"Those fees are quite a bit if we have to respond," he said. "They are charged based on the equipment used, personnel, time on the scene, all of that."

Daughtery said when he calculated how much the .30 tax levy would cost him, it came to about $82, almost half of what the $150 annual dues are that he pays, though he said for some living in the district the taxes would be higher.

If approved the tax is for both personal property and real estate.

To calculate the amount the .30 levy would increase a person's taxes, Daughtery said to "take assessed valuation that is on tax cards from collectors office - on it will have value - take that times .003 and that tells you what tax would be on your assessed valuation." 

The passage is vital not just for funding purposes, Daughtery said. the passage of the levy will fund the district, which will take it from an association to a district and will also allow board members to apply for grants for additional funding sources. 

"Some people say that we will have funding one way or another but it is important to pass the levy, so we have guaranteed funding, can become a district instead of an association and then apply for grants," he said. 

The board will not be able to raise the tax levy beyond the .30, without taking it to voters. 

The ballot question for voters within the district reads: “Shall the Chillicothe Fire Protection District No 1 have the authority to impose an ad valorem property tax at the rate of 30 cents per $100 assessed valuation?”