On November 8, 2022, voters in the City of Whitewater will be asked whether or not to increase the property tax levy to support the City’s share of EMS staffing improvements.
Whitewater Fire and EMS provides services to the City and Town of Whitewater, and the Towns of Cold Spring, Koshkonong, Lima Center, and Richmond. Under the proposed EMS staffing recommendations, each community would pay its fair share of a $1.48M increase in funding, beginning in 2023. The City of Whitewater’s share of the increase, based on a calculation that takes into account the equalized value of a community, and a five-year average of EMS call volume, would be $1.1M.
For decades, fire and EMS response relied on a paid-on-call staffing model. This model, which has on-call staff respond first to the station, then to the incident, is no longer providing an adequate level of service to Whitewater.
If approved, the increased funding would support up to 17 full-time, paid-on-premises firefighter/EMTs. Seventeen full time staff would make it possible to have a fully staffed, onsite EMS response 24/7, helping to address increased calls for service, surging response times and a lack of available paid-on-call staff.
Impact on Taxpayers
City of Whitewater residents will be asked whether they support two separate referendums, one of which is the City’s ask for a $1.1M property tax increase to fund EMS staffing and equipment investments. If both referendums pass, most taxpayers will see a net reduction in tax bills thanks in large part to $75 million of growth in the City’s tax base.
If the referendums pass, the majority of Walworth County property owners can expect to see an estimated $202 reduction in net annual property taxes per $100,000 assessed value and the majority of Jefferson County property owners can expect to see a $242 reduction in net annual property taxes per $100,000 assessed value.
Make a Plan to Vote
This is an important issue for our community. Please make a plan to vote. Voter registration, voting information and polling locations are available at myvote.wi.gov.
- News Release: City of Whitewater Votes to Place EMS Staffing Referendum on November Ballot (PDF)
- Frequently Asked Questions (PDF)
- Fire EMS Staffing Referendum Fact Sheet (PDF)
- News Release: City of Whitewater to Host Public Information Sessions Focused on EMS Staffing Referendum (PDF)
- Impact on Local Taxpayers Fact Sheet (PDF)
- News Release: Whitewater Property Taxes to Decline for Most Homeowners, Even if Referendums Pass in November (PDF)