LITCHFIELD TWP. — Litchfield Township officials aim to replace three separate tax levies with a combined one for fire and emergency medical services. The tax issue will be on the ballot Tuesday.
The new five-year, 3.2-mill levy will cost the owner of a $100,000 home $100.80 a year, a tax increase of $30.60, according to the Medina County Auditor’s Office.
Currently, the 22-member fire department has a 1.5-mill fire levy, a 1-mill EMS levy and a 0.7-mill fire equipment levy.
“The system now is just the old way of doing it,” said Litchfield Township fire Chief Jason Davis. He said fire and Emergency Medical Services used to function almost as two separate entities.
Two of the levies will expire in November, and the third one will not be collected if the 3.2-mill levy is approved, Davis said.
Davis said the money would be easier to manage as one levy.
“If we combine it all into one, it frees the money up for equipment that we need in other places.” Davis said.
Davis said the levy will fund upgrades for some equipment and a fire truck that will need to be replaced in the future. It will bring in about $242,000 a year for the department, he said.
“The current levy structure was established by adding levies instead of replacing them as needed,” according to a press release from the fire department. “The EMS levy was initially placed on the ballot in 1977 when the fire department began running EMS and needed the funds to purchase an ambulance.”
Davis said the idea for combining the levies has been discussed among trustees for several years. “It’s been talked about for quite some time,” he said. “Some other departments have done it.”
Former Litchfield fire Chief Joyce Teodecki, though, who resigned in 2011, said she doesn’t support the idea of combining the levies.
“I think it makes you be more fiscally responsible because you have to live within those means of what you have in those levies,” she said. “I just think it’s a mistake.”
Residents can vote early from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. today at the Medina County Board of Elections Office, 4210 N. Jefferson St., Medina.
Contact reporter Kiera Manion-Fischer at (330) 721-4049 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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