Last week, voters in Miller, Morgan and Moniteau counties approved a tax increase from a maximum of 30 cents per $100 of assessed valuation to a maximum of 55 cents on real estate within the Moreau Fire Protection District.
The ballot issue, which passed 560-373, was the first increase the district has received since formation in 1983, according to Marsha Scott, fire district spokesman.
Scott said the district board asked voters to approve the tax increase for the purpose of upgrading equipment, funding a training program for firefighters and purchasing new equipment.
"We have a total of 31 trucks," Scott said. "And most of them are 15 to 30 years old."
Scott said some of the increased revenue stream would be to update firefighters' personal safety equipment and to keep some outlying stations open, which had been in danger of being closed without a tax increase.
The fire district, which encompasses some 250 square miles in Miller, Morgan and Moniteau counties, operates on an annual budget of about $283,000. With the passage of the ballot issue, Scott said, that budget will increase to about $500,000 per year.
According to Scott, passage of the issue will increase the property tax assessment on a $200,000 home within the district by about $47.50 annually.