St. Charles County Ambulance District again asking for tax increase to fund operations

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by KMOV.com Staff

KMOV.com

Posted on December 11, 2013 at 4:18 PM

Updated Wednesday, Dec 18 at 10:34 AM

(KMOV.com) -- One of the fastest growing areas in Missouri could be facing an ambulance shortage.

The St. Charles County Ambulance District will once again be asking voters for a property tax increase to fund operations.

“The revenues and the taxes just aren’t keeping up with the growth,” said spokesperson Martin Limpert.

Administrators say the district is dealing with an ever-growing aging population that’s expected to increase by 255% in the next 10 years.

In response, the district has cut 13 paramedics and has had to take some ambulances out of service.

The proposal would boost the district’s levy by 11 cents per $100 dollars assessed value.

For a $100,000 home that’s an increase of about $21 dollars a year.

Voters will recognize that as the same proposal turned down this past spring.

“It was on the ballot last April and lost by about one-and-a-half percent,” Limbert said. “There was a lot of miscommunication out there.”

Limpert says the wording on the ballot was changed because of a lawsuit and it didn’t say what the money would be used for.

He assured it will go to purchase equipment, hire paramedics and build bases.

Paramedics cover all 585 square miles of the county with 16 to 18 ambulances each day. The service more than 30,000 calls a year.

A tax hike is always a tough sell to the voters, But Limpert says in the nearly 40 years the ambulance district has been around, it’s never had a tax increase.

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