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New proposed levy for Star and Middleton Fire Districts

How it could affect your taxes...and what first responders want to use those funds for
Posted at 1:20 AM, Apr 13, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-13 03:20:09-04

STAR, IDAHO — The Star and Middleton Fire Districts are proposing a new $2,225,000 permanent levy that will be seen on the May 21st Primary Ballot.

  • The proposed permanent levy is looking to bring in $2,225,000 for the Star and Middleton Fire Districts.
  • The levy will be used to staff and equip the two new stations that are opening soon.
  • In Star, it will be a tax increase of approximately $53.83 per $100,000 of taxable assessed value, per year.
  • In Middleton, it will be a tax increase of approximately $65.84 per $100,000 of taxable assessed value, per year.
  • For a sample ballot click here.
  • Star Fire is holding two open houses for locals to ask questions.
    • Saturday, April 13th, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm // Station 51 - 11665 W State Street
    • Monday, May 6th, 6:00 - 8:00 pm // Station 51 - 11665 W State Street
  • Middleton will also be holding open houses.
    • Monday, April 15th, 6:00 - 8:00 pm // Station 53 - 302 E Main Street
    • Saturday, May 4th, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm // Station 53 - 302 E Main Street

(Below is the transcript from the broadcast story)

Population is rising and local fire districts are struggling to keep up. I'm your Star neighborhood reporter, Alexander Huddleston, where voters will have the option to weigh in next month as a proposed permanent levy could help staff local fire stations.

"We are asking for a 2.25 million dollar levy, " said Star and Middleton Fire Chief Greg Timinsky.

As we approach the primaries on May 21st, the Star Fire district has proposed a new permanent tax levy override. The ballot says “It will be a tax increase of approximately $53.83 per $100,000 of taxable assessed value, per year”.

Timinsky said, "It's going to go for staffing the two new fire stations."

Those two new fire stations are how Chief Timinsky says they are attempting to adjust to the major growth in population.

"Our call volume is increasing. Our response time is increasing, due to the traffic we have in this community," explained the fire chief.

Chief Timinsky says this levy is to help pay for staffing and equipping these stations. But, if this levy does not pass, "They would sit empty until we can get the staffing," said Chief Timinsky.

But, not everyone is on board.

"See this? Hey, fire department. Pay attention. Take the word permanent out and restart," exclaimed Arthur Soukup.

Local Arthur Soukup is not a fan of the idea that this is not a one-time increase in taxes.

Soukup continued, "What is it about certain thinking in this world, that the taxpayer is an endless source of funds? I would like you to vote for a permanent refill of my gas tank. If you vote yes I get free gas for life."

Soukup says he is all for supporting first responders and agrees there's a need to support the population growth. However, he's concerned there will be more tax increases.

"It says permanent. As long as that word is in there I am absolutely against it. I don't care what they say," scoffed Soukup.

Timinsky says he understands the concerns from taxpayers.

"This is a big ask. This is a big ask of our citizens. We care enough about our citizens we just want to try and give them the best service we possibly can," finished Chief Timinsky.

The star fire district will be hosting an open house at station 51 on Saturday, April 13th from 11 am to 1 pm.