A referendum on the March 18 ballot will ask residents to sign off on a tax increase to cover new equipment and operational costs for the New Lenox Fire Protection District.
For the first time in 25 years, the NLFPD has turned to a referendum, which if approved, would increase property taxes on a $200,000 home by an estimated $86 annually, or $7 per month.
Fire officials cited a steady increase in the number of calls for service as well as outdated equipment as reasons for the boost. The NLFPD tax rate is currently .36, and if approved, would be .489. The population has more than doubled, and along with it, the call volume at a rate of 15 percent each year. New equipment would ensure firefighters' safety and whittle down response times, officials said.
The fire protection district includes portions of Mokena, Homer Township and Manhattan Township. The district is financed entirely through property taxes.