Ohio city to close 2 fire stations after tax fails

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CHILLICOTHE, Ohio (AP) — A failed proposal to increase income taxes in one Ohio city has led officials to close two of its three fire stations beginning this weekend.

The Columbus Dispatch (http://bit.ly/117bhDc ) reports that the city of Chillicothe is not laying off firefighters yet, but will need to if planned retirements don't happen.

This month, voters rejected a 0.4 percent income-tax increase. It would have boosted the city's income tax to 2 percent. A portion of the new revenue would have gone straight to the police and fire departments.

Assistant Fire Chief Steve Gallagher says the city is treating the closures as semi-permanent, as the tax proposal could return to voters in 2015.

Gallagher tells the newspaper there's no doubt it will take longer for fire trucks and ambulances to respond to emergencies.

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Information from: The Columbus Dispatch, http://www.dispatch.com