When there is a direct correlation between tax dollars collected and services provided the system is working and the taxpayer benefits.
Such is the case with taxes collected to operate lake fire departments. Lake departments in general and the Mid-County Fire Protection District in particular are run by fiscally responsible boards and chiefs.
The Mid-County department has a big job. They cover 220 square miles of often difficult-to-reach homes and businesses. They responded to 1,400 calls last year — that is an average of more than four rollouts per day. On average they arrive on the scene of a fire in less than 15 minutes. That’s quick and that is important.
In short, the department does a hard job well.
Now district officials have determined that to maintain the level of service taxpayers expect, more money is needed. Not for anything extravagant or indeed, anything new. Just to maintain the current level of service.
That makes this an important vote.
Mid County has the lowest levy in the area and a lower levy that when the district was organized nearly 30 years ago. With the price of fuel for the equipment and electricity to keep the lights on at the fire houses, there is a widening gap between what comes in and what goes out.
District officials are asking only to close that gap. In order to maintain vehicles, training and the current high level of service, they must close that gap.
Its pretty simple: support the levy increase — which by the way is a modest 12 cents per hundred dollars of valuation — or accept less service and increased homeowners-insurance costs.
This tax correlates directly to services provided and deserves voter approval.