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EMS director says tax levy will help close funding gap

Will Buss

Lee County Emergency Medical Services provides emergency medical services in the county and covers special events, such as high school football games and the Lee County Fair.

Now, it’s hoping voters will help out by approving a tax levy measure during a special election next month. The revenue generated will help EMS shore up its underfunded services.

“The revenue that we make from providing the service doesn't cover the cost so this is pretty vital for first to kind of bridge that gap to where we didn't have the money to provide the service that we need to provide,” said EMS Director Mark Long.

He said most of the county’s EMS revenue comes from Medicare and Medicaid. He said the county typically receives a bill for $730 each time the county dispatches an ambulance, but Medicaid will only pay $120 of that cost.

“This is pretty vital to kind of bridge that gap,” Long said. “We didn't have the money to provide the service that we need to provide.”

The Lee County Board of Supervisors agreed to ask voters to approve a 75-cent increase on every $1,000 of property value. The increase would amount to an additional $42 to the average homeowner’s property tax bill.

Long said a super majority of 60% will be required for the levy to pass. If approved, residents would see the increase on their September property tax bill. It would remain in effect for no more than 10 years.

The election will be held on Tuesday, March 7. Polls will be open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.