VIGO COUNTY, Ind (WTWO/WAWV) By a unanimous vote the Vigo County Council passed a resolution that would provide funding to those in public safety. It happened because local fire departments have yet to receive money that was generated by an increase in income tax.
“This a positive for every department but also for the community,” Pierson Volunteer Fire Chief James Gummere said.
The Vigo County Council increased the income tax last year to help fund a new jail and public safety. However, area fire departments have not seen funds.
During Tuesday night’s meeting council that changed when the council took action.
“With this tax going into place for us to get that dedicated out, with all the departments working together it does assist us as well,” Gummere said. “We will get about a 10 percent raise in our budget just from this tax.”
When the increase to the income tax was put into place last year council members say they assumed fire departments and fire districts would receive their distributions directly, but later officials found out the ordinance wasn’t written specific enough to allow that.
The recommendation Tuesday night means that departments would be paid by a 65 percent run and 35 percent levy distribution system.
That’s based on the number of calls a department responds to and the rate of how many people live in a tax district.
All departments seem pleased with the outcome.
“It was refreshing to know we were all on the same page and they all felt good about what was being recommend,” Vigo County Council President Aaron Loudermilk
Departments have until July 1st to request funds for next year.
Loudermilk says next year the departments would see two payments one for 2019 and 2020 next January.
After the requests are collected, the council will approve the funding during their August meeting.