Antioch Fire District voters lean toward approving tax hike

The First Fire Protection District of Antioch Township once again will be asking residents to approve a tax hike.

A referendum to raise an additional $1.87 million annually for the Antioch First Fire Protection District returned to Tuesday’s primary ballot.

Unlike a similar request in 2020, it was on track to earn approval.

With all precincts reporting by about 9 p.m. Tuesday, 1,615 voters approved the measure while 1,324 voted against it, unofficial results showed.

Totals don’t include votes cast early, by mail or provisional ballots.

One primary need for the funds, Fire Chief Jon Cokefair said, is that Antioch medics make $53,000 a year compared to the $68,900 average in Lake County.

“We’re way behind the eight ball to catch up,” he said.

The annual tax bill for a $200,000 home will increase by about $176 annually. Residents won’t see any increase until next June when 2022 taxes are due.

“We’re excited,” Cokefair said. “We can get ourselves back on track, start working on getting our pay in line for our employees -- that’s first and foremost -- and then start fixing our buildings.”