Propossed Tax Credit for Volunteer Members of Morton-Rutledge Fire Co Ordinance

Borough of Rutledge
Delaware County, Pennsylvania

Ordinance No. 24-301

AN ORDINANCE OF THE COUNCIL OF RUTLEDGEBOROUGH, DELAWARE COUNTY, PENNSYLVANIA, ESTABLISHING A VOLUNTEER SERVICE CREDIT PROGRAM; ENACTING TAX CREDITS FOR VOLUNTEER MEMBERS OF VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANIES AND NONPROFIT EMERGENCY MEDICALSERVICE AGENCY; AND ESTABLISHING ADMINISTRATIVE AND APPEALS PROCEDURES

WHEREAS, the Pennsylvania Borough Code (53 P.S. § 45101 et seq.) permits a municipality to adopt regulations to protect the public health, safety and welfare; and

WHEREAS, Act 172 of 2016 authorized Boroughs to adopt regulations to grant tax credits on real estate taxes to residents who actively volunteer for fire departments and emergency medical service agencies in the Borough; and

WHEREAS, the Borough wishes to establish such a tax credit for its resident volunteers

NOW THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY ORDAINED AND ENACTED by the Borough Council of Rutledge Borough as follows:

Section 1. To provide/establish a Volunteer Service Credit Program which shall be known asthe Volunteer Service Credit Ordinance as contained in Chapter 24, Part 3 of the Borough of Rutledge Code of Ordinances.

Chapter 24 – Taxation, Part 3, Volunteer Service Credit Program
SECTION 24-301. SHORT TITLE.
This Part shall be known as the “Volunteer Service Credit Ordinance” of the Borough of Rutledge.
SECTION 24-302. DEFINITIONS.

The following words and phrases when used in this ordinance shall have the meanings given to them in this Part unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.

“Active Volunteer.” A volunteer for a volunteer fire company or nonprofit emergency medical service agency listed under Section 2(c) who has complied with, and is certified under, the Volunteer Service Credit Program.
“Eligibility Period.” The timeframe when volunteers may earn credit under the Volunteer Service Credit Program.
“Emergency Responder.” A volunteer who responds to an emergency call with one of the entities listed under Section 2(c).
“Emergency Response Call.” Any emergency call to which a volunteer responds, including travel directly from and to a volunteer’s home, place of business or other place where he/she shall have been when the call was received.
“Qualified Real Property.” A residential real property owned and occupied as the domicileof an active volunteer.
“Volunteer.” A member of a volunteer fire company or a nonprofit emergency medical service agency.
SECTION 24-303. VOLUNTEER SERVICE CREDIT PROGRAM.
A) Establishment. Rutledge Borough hereby establishes a Volunteer Service Credit Program. The goal of the program is to encourage membership and service in the community’s volunteer fire companies and nonprofit emergency medical service agencies.
B) Program Criteria.The Council shall establish, by resolution, the annual criteria that must be met to qualify for credits under the program based on the following:
(1) The number of emergency response calls to which a volunteer responds.
(2) The level of training and participation in formal training and drills for a volunteer.
(3) The total amount of time expended by a volunteer on administrative and other support services, including but not limited to:
(i) fundraising
(ii) providing facility or equipment maintenance
(iii) financial bookkeeping
(4) The involvement in other events or projects that aid the financial viability, emergency response or operational readiness of a volunteer fire company or a nonprofit emergency medical service agency.
(5) The total number of years the volunteer has served.
C) Eligible Entities. The Volunteer Service Credit Program is available to residents of the Borough who are volunteers of the following volunteer fire companies and nonprofit emergency medical service agencies thatprovide service to RutledgeBorough:
(1) Morton RutledgeVolunteer Fire Company
D) Eligibility Period. A volunteer must meet the minimum criteria, set by resolution under this section, during the eligibility period to qualify for the tax credits established under Section 24-304
(1) For 2017, the eligibility period under the Volunteer Service Credit Program shall run from January 20, 2017 until December 1, 2017.
(2) For 2018, and each subsequent year thereafter, the eligibility period shall run from January 1st until December 1.
E) Recordkeeping. The Chief of each volunteer fire company or the supervisor of the nonprofit emergency medical service agency listed under Section 24-303(C) shall keep specific records of each volunteer’s activities in a service log to establish credits under the Volunteer Service Credit Program. Service logs shall be subject to review by the Borough Council, the State Fire Commissioner and the State Auditor General. The Chief, or supervisor,shall annually transmit to the Borough a notarized eligibility list of all volunteers that have met the minimum criteria for the Volunteer Service Credit Program. The notarized eligibility list shall be transmitted to the Borough no later than December 1 of each year. The chief or supervisor shall post the notarized eligibility list in an accessible area of the volunteer agency’s facilities.
F) Application. Volunteers that have met the minimum criteria of the Volunteer Service Credit Program shall sign and submit an application for certification to their Chief or supervisor. The Chief or supervisor shall sign the application if the volunteer has met the minimum criteria of the Volunteer Service Credit Program, and forward it to the borough secretary. Applications shall not be accepted by the Borough after April 1stof each year.
G) Municipal Review.The borough secretary shall review the applications for credit under the Volunteer Service Credit Program and shall cross reference them with the notarized eligibility list. The Borough Council shall approve all applicants that are on the notarized eligibility list. All applicants approved by the shall be issued a tax credit certificate by the Borough Secretary.
H) Official Tax Credit Register. The Boroughshall keep an official Tax Credit Register of all active volunteers that were issued tax credit certificates. The borough secretary shall issue updates, as needed, of the official Tax Credit Register to the following:
(1) Borough Council;
(2) Chief of the volunteer fire company;
(3) Chief or supervisor of the nonprofit emergency medical services agency;
I) Injured Volunteers.
(1) An emergency responder that is injured during an emergency response call may be eligible for future tax credits. The injury must have occurred while responding to, participating in, or returning from an emergency response call with one of the entities listed under Section 24-303(C).
(2) An injured emergency responder shall provide documentation from a licensed physician with the application required under Section 24-303(F) stating that their injury prevents them from performing duties to qualify as an active volunteer. In such a case, the injured emergency responder shall be deemed an active volunteer for that tax year.
(3) An injured emergency responder shall annually submit the application required under Section 24-303(F), along with updated documentation from a licensed physician stating that the injury still exists and prevents them from qualifying as an active volunteer. The injured emergency responder shall again be deemed an active volunteer for that tax year. An injured emergency responder shall only be deemed an active volunteer for a maximum of five consecutive tax years.

SECTION 24-304. REAL PROPERTY TAX CREDIT.

A) Tax Credit.Each active volunteer who has been certified under RutledgeBoroughVolunteer Service Credit Program shall be eligible to receive a real property tax credit of twenty percent (20%) of theborough tax liability on qualified real property. If the tax is paid in the penalty period, the tax credit shall only apply to the base tax year liability.

B) Claim.
(1) An active volunteer with a tax credit certificate may file a claim for the tax credit on their qualified real property tax liability for the Borough’s real estate tax levy. The tax credit shall be administered as a refund by the boroughtreasurer. An active volunteer shall file the following with the borough secretary

(i) A true and correct receipt from the borough real estate tax collector of the paidBoroughreal property taxes for the tax year which the claim is being filed.

(ii) The tax credit certificate.

(iii)Photo identification.

(iv) Documentation that the tax paid was for qualified real property as defined in this ordinance.

(2) If the active volunteer provides all documents required under this subsection, the Borough Treasurer shall issue the tax refund to the active volunteer.

C) Rejection of the Tax Credit Claim.

(1) The Borough Secretary shall reject the claim for a borough real propertytax credit if the taxpayer fails to provide the documents required under subsection (B)(1).

(2) If the Borough Secretary rejects the claim, the taxpayer shall be notified in writing of the decision. The notice shall include the reasons for the rejection and provide the method of appealing the decision pursuant to Section 5.

(3) Taxpayers shall have 30 days to appeal the decision of the Borough Secretary.

SECTION 24-305. APPEALS.

A) Real Property Tax Credit Appeals.
(1) Any taxpayer aggrieved by a decision under Section 4 shall have a right to appeal said decision.
(2) A taxpayer shall have 30 days to appeal a decision or rejection of claim.

(3) All appeals under Section 4 shall follow the provisions of 2 Pa.C.S. Chapter 5, Subchapter B (relating to practice and procedure of local agencies), and 2 Pa.C.S. Chapter 7, Subchapter B (relating to judicial review of local agency action), also known as the “Local Agency Law.”

Section 2. Repealer: Borough Council authorizes the appropriate Borough officials, officers, solicitor and employees to take any and all necessary actions required to carry out the intent of this Ordinance.
Section 3. All Ordinances or Resolutions or parts of Ordinances or Resolutions asinsofar as they are inconsistent herewith, are hereby repealed.
Section 4. Severability: If any clause, sentence, paragraph or part of this Ordinance, or the application thereof to any person or circumstance, shall for any reason be adjudged by a court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair or invalidate the remainder of this Ordinance nor the application of such clause, sentence, paragraph or part to other persons or circumstances, directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment shall have been rendered. It is hereby declared to be the legislative intent that this Ordinance would have been adopted had such provisions not been included or such persons or circumstances been expressly excluded from their coverage.
Section 5. Effective Date: This Ordinance shall be effective immediately.

ENACTED and/or ORDAINED this ____________day of ___________________, 2017.

RUTLEDGE BOROUGH COUNCIL

 

By: _____________________________
David Waltz, Council President

ATTESTED this _________day of APPROVED this_________ day of

_______________________2017 ________________________2017

 

_______________________________ _____________________________
Dawn Marie Bascelli, Borough Secretary Kevin M. Cunningham, Mayor

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