The Oswego Fire Protection District is hoping that the third time will be the charm.
Once again, voters are being presented with a property tax increase referendum which fire district officials say is needed to maintain the current level of service and protection.
The Nov. 8 general election ballot question asks voters to approve a 0.10% increase in the district’s property tax rate.
Currently, the owner of a home valued at $300,000 pays about $600 in property taxes to the fire district. If the referendum were approved, that same homeowner would see an increase of about $99 to the annual tax bill.
Voters narrowly rejected the district’s tax hike request in an April 2021 referendum and then again this past June 28 by a one-vote margin of defeat.
There were 4,149 ballots cast in favor of the tax-increase referendum and 4,150 against it, according to unofficial vote totals.
The Kendall County Clerk conducted a discovery recount at the request of the fire protection district’s board of trustees, who were satisfied that the referendum results were correct and on Aug. 8 voted to put the issue in front of voters for a third time.
The sprawling fire protection district covers a 53-square-mile area of northeast Kendall County and northwestern Will County.
Population growth is the driving factor for the referdenum.
Fire district officials point to the thousands of new homes and businesses that have been built in the district since it last won voter approval of a referendum in 2002.
Two decades ago, the fire district served a population of about 27,000, but now serves nearly 70,000 from four stations, two in Oswego, one in Montgomery and another in Plainfield.
The district responded to more than 6,000 calls in 2021 compared to 2,000 calls in 2002.
“The growth continues significantly in our community and the cost of apparatus and equipment continue to rise,” according to a press release from the district.
Source: The Daily Chronicle