Jefferson Township voters will be asked to renew the 2-mill fire levy when they go to the polls May 5.

Jefferson Township voters will be asked to renew the 2-mill fire levy when they go to the polls May 5.

A renewal levy would not raise residents' taxes because it would continue to collect at the current levy's effective millage rate.

The current 2-mill fire levy, which expires at the end of the year, collects at only 1.65 mills because of state-mandated reductions.

The effective 1.65-mill rate costs a total of about $51 annually for every $100,000 of assessed property value. Had the levy been a 2-mill replacement -- rather than a renewal -- it would have cost a total of $61.25 annually for the same property value, or an increase of about $10 a year.

Trustees said they did not want to seek anything other than a renewal of a levy in this current economic environment.

Jefferson Township has four levies totaling 7.6 mills to fund fire-protection services. Those four collect at an effective rate of 5.5 mills, township administrator Ellen Walker said.

She urged voters to visit the township's Web site, www.jeffersontownship.org, to see a full explanation of how taxes are collected, what they fund and where they go for the township.

"I plan to have it up there this week," Walker said.

According to the Web site, the fire department, which was established as a volunteer department in 1967, provides medical and fire service via full-time and part-time firefighters. The department currently staffs one station 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and 365 days a year. On a typical day, six firefighter/paramedics are staffed on a 24-hour shift.

In addition, the department responds to nearly 1,300 fire and emergency-medical calls each year, with yearly increases of about 10 percent. The service area is about 14 square miles and includes parts of Reynoldsburg.