Fire District Protests Tax Payment

00:00 AM January 09, 2018


Topping the monthly meeting of the Prophetstown Fire Protection District, the trustees approved a payment to the Illinois Department of Employment Services for slightly more than $32,000, which included taxes and penalties.


The IDES was seeking back payment of charges beginning in December 2013 for claims filed by two ambulance personnel. The District has always operated under the assumption they were exempt from the tax and were charged late penalties despite their attempts to communicate with IDES about the issue. Along with the payment the district filed a protest contending they should not be liable for the taxes.


Ambulance Director, Julie Pope said there are additional fire districts in northern Illinois who are also protesting the tax. Originally volunteer fire departments were exempt from the unemployment tax, but over time several departments have incorporated ambulance services, which pay their personnel.  The IDES contends that this makes them liable for the tax.  


In other business, Fire Chief Keith Crady asked for equipment requests from station captains so he can write a grant being offered by the state of Illinois. He will also be completing a grant application for FEMA, which will be specifically written for firefighter gear.


Assistant Chief Gerald Armstrong reported the department responded to 14 calls in the month of December. He also said that a recent training session was held in Lyndon with 19 firefighters attending and announced that the yearly training schedule will be posted soon.


Aaron Landheer reported the Lyndon station had installed 20 smoke detectors, free of charge, recently to local residents, which were provided by the Red Cross.


In her report Pope said the ambulance service had responded to 40 calls in December. She told the board the ambulance personnel are discussing holding a fundraiser, which is something that has not been done in the past.


The district received the latest architectural drawings for the expansion of the Prophetstown and Lyndon departments. The building committee will meet to review the drawings and hopes to let bids around February 1.


The next schedule meeting for the district is Monday, February 12, at 7:00 p.m.

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