The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Letter to Editor

On April 17, 2007 during the local elections there will be a referendum that will request your permission for the La Harpe Fire District to offer financial support to your local volunteer ambulance service based in La Harpe.

We want to take this opportunity to inform you as to what this referendum is about and how it will benefit you.

In Hancock County your property taxes will not change. Currently you are paying 00.10%, which this year amounted to between $17,100.00 and $21,000.00, towards the county ambulance fund which has existed since 1990.

Only a small portion of that amount, which totaled $8,148.00 in 2006, of these collected funds reached your local ambulance service.

If this referendum passes the tax rate will not be increased, but your local ambulance based in La Harpe will receive the entire amount so that they can continue to provide this area with a first class ambulance service.

We feel that the La Harpe Fire Protection District and the La Harpe Ambulance Service can provide a more efficient use of these funds than the current system without any further increases.

This connection can only be done through the La Harpe Fire Protection District which will, with your permission, invoke the Illinois Fire Protection Act to collect the funds and then contract with your local service in La Harpe.

The current levy which collects the ambulance tax under DOR Code 064 states "0.25% may be levied only in an area not within a fire protection district which levies an ambulance tax."

By passing this referendum the ambulance tax currently collected will no longer apply and the tax can only be collected through the La Harpe Fire District. This will put your local providers and fellow taxpayers in a position to limit frivolous spending and thereby prevent any substantial increases.

The state has been increasingly pressuring ambulance services to be operational 24/7. This has caused an additional burden to local volunteers.

The La Harpe Ambulance can offset this burden with the addition of a fair volunteer incentive program that the County Ambulance does not offer.

In this respect more of your tax money would be kept and spent locally since it would be spent directly on paying your local EMT's to help staff and care for your local ambulance service and nothing else.

We are asking for your support in keeping your local ambulance service in a position to provide the care you expect and deserve.

No new tax or increase. April 4th at 6:30 p.m. at the Clubhouse. Thank you.

La Harpe Fire Protection District; La Harpe Volunteer Ambulance Service