The Madison Valley Rural Fire District informed county commissioners Thursday that they only received $168,000 of their expected budget for 2011 of $209,000.
The error was discovered earlier this spring when Nathan Tubergen, a MVRFD representative at the meeting, was reviewing revenue projections.
“They were way under,” Tubergen said. “I thought ‘what the heck is going on?’ because that shouldn’t be the case.”
What happened was when the town of Ennis was annexed into the MVRFD in 2009, the increased mil value generated approximately $31,400 in additional revenue. The department submitted to commissioners to levy 13.35 mils, adding 4.35 mils to the existing 9 mils. But the problem is that the additional revenue was never spread across the taxes.
“The taxes went out incorrect,” explained Tubergen.
The discovery was presented to the MVRFD board of trustees on July 12.
“(There’s) a whole section of the district that’s not paying for service and receiving it,” said Tubergen.
“We have a deficit of all the residential buildings within the town of Ennis of one year,” MVRFD fire chief Shawn Christensen added.
While the error will not put the MVRFD in the red, the lack of revenue will affect the program.
“It’s really going to put a hurt on us this year,” Christensen said. “We’re trying to get a third station to try to better our duties and services to the people within our area.”
He’s going to continue to try and figure out a way to get the district the proper tax amount for last year. However, Madison County Commissioners weren’t sure how or if they could readjust the taxes for last year, but pledged to look into the issue.
“Will we get it fixed for the next year’s taxes? Yes,” Christensen said. “Are we still going to work and continue to try to figure out how to recoup that? Yes.”