At its January 3 business session, City Council passed a Resolution to submit a 6-mill property tax levy for the May 8, 2018, ballot to provide fire suppression and emergency medical services. If approved by the voters, this levy would provide needed funds for staffing and equipment for the Montgomery Fire Department through the year 2030.
What is collected from the current levy?
- The Fire Department currently operates on a 5.55-mill levy authorized by the voters in 1999. This levy was projected to fund the Fire Department until 2009, but through careful budgeting and stewardship, the Department was able to stretch the funding through 2017.
Why is an additional levy needed?
- The Montgomery community has grown with additional homes and businesses, and this growth has increased the number of fire and emergency medical service responses made by the department. This growth has increased the department’s reliance on mutual aid from surrounding fire departments for secondary fire and emergency medical response. Relying on part-time personnel to fully staff the fire department is becoming increasingly difficult, not just locally, but nationally. The additional 6.0-mill levy would allow the fire department to switch to a full-time staff in order to respond to increased service demands.
What will the levy cost a taxpayer?
- The 6-mill levy would cost $183.75 per year for each $100,000 of fair market valuation, in addition to that already collected through the 5.5 mill levy.
The Montgomery Fire Department has provided services to a growing community with the same level of financial resources approved 17 years ago. The current 5.55 mill levy will not continue to provide sufficient resources to support the Fire Department and, in recent years, it has had to utilize cash reserves to provide sufficient funds to operate.
The proposed 6-mill property tax levy would provide sufficient resources to support the Fire Department until the year 2030 and would enable the department to hire additional firefighter/paramedics and replace outdated equipment.