|By Susan Weich, St. Louis Post-Dispatch|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
If approved, taxes for
Balke said the city is in financial trouble due to a downturn in revenue and can no longer afford to run the department. Several public meetings have been held to inform residents. The move would save the city about
Balke said this year the city has a
"If it doesn't get approved we're going to have to look for other ways to cut the budget," she said.
The measure requires a simple majority to pass; it does not need the approval of taxpayers in the
None of the
Since 2008, a drop in home values has meant about
To make ends meet, the district has been tapping its reserves, Seppelt said.
The district wants to increase its property tax rate by
"This year we've cut or frozen every line item on our budget with the exception of training and vehicle maintenance," he said. "This is basically to keep us in the black."
In addition, the district wants to borrow
Seppelt said the district's three front-line ambulances have 100,000 miles on them, and the three backup units are at 180,000 miles. The district's reserve fire engine is 20 years old.
"We need to continue to purchase the equipment the guys need," he said.
The city of
Tax hike proposals in two other fire protection districts --
The measure requires a simple majority for approval.