While we have a good emergency service, many of us want to see an accounting for Plain Township Fire Department spending and a detailed justification for any proposed tax increase.

To the Editor:

While we have a good emergency service, many of us want to see an accounting for Plain Township Fire Department spending and a detailed justification for any proposed tax increase.

Just offering an equipment list with some costs and a "suggestion" that there would be no further tax increases for five years is not a sufficient reason to raise our taxes $1.2 million annually forever -- a 30 percent increase over 2014 collections. We are already paying among the highest property taxes in Franklin County.

According to ThisWeek coverage, it appears that Plain Township officials are conducting the usual fire-levy campaign built around simple themes that contend major tax increases are required "because we haven't asked for new taxes in six years," "emergency calls increased" and "we need to make station repairs and buy some equipment" while not detailing costs.

They apparently think that voters won't notice that their taxes will go up if they call it a "replacement" levy instead of a "new" levy. The county auditor's office says our taxes would increase by $1.2 million annually, increasing from $4.3 million last year to $5.5 million.

Using population and emergency-run change statistics don't make a compelling case.

Township documents say emergency runs in 2009 were 1,628, which after basic calculations is an average of about five per day, and 2,263 in 2014, about six per day or a difference of only one run per day after five years of population growth. How does that justify raising taxes by $1.2 million annually?

When can citizens go to a local government website and easily ascertain financial performance by reviewing clear, straightforward information, honestly and competently presented, with business case presentations of tax proposals and other issues that clearly describe pros, cons and alternatives that include justification, detailed costs, outcomes, service levels and taxes?

Bob Radigan
New Albany