New Lenox Fire Protection District Looks to Boost Taxes

The New Lenox is asking to put a referendum on the ballot for the coming election.

The New Lenox Fire Protection District want to pull in more tax money to fund its operations.

The district has asked for a referendum to be placed on the ballot for the next election to clear the way for the tax increase.

"Since 1989, the NLFPD has not seen a tax increase," the district said in a recently released statement. "During these 25 years, the population has doubled from 16,574 to 34,063, and the amount of commercial and industrial buildings has continued to grow as well."

The district also pointed to an increase in the number of calls over the years. The referendum would reduce insurance costs, provide updated services and decrease response times, the statement said.

"Currently the NLFPD tax rate is .36 and it has been recommended to increase it to .489," the statement said. "This would be the equivalent of approximately an extra $86 per year or $7 per month for a $200k home."

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joe kaizer January 20, 2014 at 12:08 PM
Hello Gary. I respect your opinion on the issue, however, if you are in a job and the cost of living rises do you expect to get a raise? I know I do. The question then becomes what is fair. To a certain extent yes they know what they are getting into but there are many people who would not want this job because of the physically demanding work that is involved not to mention 0-60 in seconds from eating a meal, sleeping (yes they do sleep sometimes), or just carrying on with normal everyday chores and training. The amount collected on a pension varies with age and time on the job. As far as collecting at age 50 one of the reasons behind this is the fact that the job is so demanding that age is a huge factor in being able to do the physical demands of the job, not to mention the physical stress put on the body organs and the body as a whole from the invisible stress that comes with the job. The comment about keeping up with the Jones' is not very valid. The rising costs of equipment along with all the other rising costs is what is prompting this referendum. A new engine cost somewhere around $180,00 to $200,000 back in 1989 or 90. Today a new engine equipped the same would be close to $500,00, around a 250% increase. I feel the increase in the tax rate is justified but people need to make sure they are educated on all the aspects of the need for the increase. Thanks for a breath of fresh air to the post.
Eric Blair January 20, 2014 at 05:06 PM
Joe, I got a good laugh from your last post concerning the retirement at 50yrs. due to the physical demands from the job. I worked heavy construction all my life mostly in Chicago. Back 20-30 years ago Chicago Firemen oftentimes moonlighted 2 or 3 days on our jobs when they were off duty from the Department. We were in the masonry business. Lots of the Irish Firefighters were bricklayers then. The work was and still is backbreaking and several times, when the Firemen were done with their short stint with us they’d say “ … I can’t wait to get back to the firehouse, I need a rest…”. For the record I like the Fireman but this prima donna attitude they have been elevated to isn’t doing them any good. And also for the record the moonlighting Chicago Firemen that I knew are enjoying retirement in Florida while most of my former colleagues are dead or crippled. I’m not complaining. Just wish you would stop all this woe is me I’m a Fireman nonsense. It isn’t working and in fact is hurting your cause. Good luck.
joe kaizer January 21, 2014 at 03:15 PM
This isn't just a pension issue. Along with that the laws have changed for firefighters coming on after January 2011. A firefighter is now required to be minimum 55 years old to retire with 20 years of service. I also have worked as a laborer for a concrete business and held 2 to 3 different jobs at one time on top of that. I worked in a factory where the job was also back breaking. I was not in any union but I do know that the laborer's union had great wages and benefits. I know enough firefighters to tell you that not all think of themselves as prim-a-donas. I also know that the life expectancy of firefighters is considerably shorter than the average person. There is no doubt that there are firefighters enjoying retirement just like there are laborers enjoying retirement. If you want to vote no that's your choice. I think you insult the intelligence of other voters by telling everyone to vote no. People are smart enough to make up their own minds as to whether they agree or disagree with the referendum. Just don't feed them erroneous information.
Al Bonne March 14, 2014 at 03:52 PM
From .389% to still less than half a %...let them have it.
steve biecko March 14, 2014 at 04:59 PM
the "percentage of levy" is irrelevant. Even at todays .4 levy I'm betting its still millions of bucks. I'd like to see how big the levy was 20yrs ago, vs the levy today. My guess is, with all the growth in the area that the fire dept budget is MUCH bigger today than it was 20 or even 10 yrs ago. Lets see the growth in the depts spending over the last 20 yrs.... Next point: as someone else posted, its always a 'keeping up with the Jones' type of thing. Same with schools. "Oh, in the town next door, they pay X, we need to offer X+1." The problem becomes when the 2nd town over says: "They pay X+1, we need to offer X+2." Then of course the 3rd town over needs to pay x+3..... and the game continues. These people aren't stupid. (the administrators) Its a game to keep increasing the budgets. With increased budgets, come increased salaries. Rinse and repeat cause the dumb taxpayer keeps paying. Our local taxing bodies are in a spending race with each other, and we the taxpayers end up the losers. Do you know why Il is losing population every yr? Its because the taxes at the state, county and local level are WAY TOO high. The voters need to wake up and put a stop to all this ever increasing fiscal insanity. On a related note, and the FD's 'threat' that without a hike they may have to institute a 'user fee', I'd like to know why there isn't a 'user charge' for ambulance calls? i mean, if a small segment of the population is using these services, then the users should carry the freight. I know if I get in an accident and need an ambulance to get carted to the hospital (or morgue) my insurance would pick it up- no need to tax *EVERYONE* ; ah, but then you see, the jones' game of ever increasing taxes and salarys and budgets would slow down, and the unions/politicians don't want that. Please dispute me


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