Penn. County Approves Tax Rebate for Volunteer EMTs, Firefighters

Penn. County Approves Tax Rebate for Volunteer EMTs, Firefighters

News Sep 13, 2017

Sept. 12—JESSUP—Borough council unanimously approved an ordinance Monday night that will give borough volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians a 20 percent municipal property tax break through a rebate program.

Borough officials believe Jessup is among the first municipalities in Northeast Pennsylvania to enact such an ordinance. A recent state law authorized municipalities to offer incentives like tax credits to attract and retain volunteer fire and ambulance personnel. The 20 percent rebate council approved Monday is the maximum amount a municipality can offer under the law, borough solicitor Richard Fanucci said.

The ordinance will be in effect for the 2018 tax year. Under the program, a volunteer will pay a tax bill in full, then submit an application for the tax credit, Fanucci said. The volunteer will have to meet certain criteria to be eligible for the credit and a fire chief will have to sign off on the application.

The municipal property tax rate in Jessup is 21.7 mills. The median residential assessed value of property in Jessup is $8,246 and carries a $178.94 municipal real estate tax bill. The tax credit would be about $35.79.

In setting qualification criteria, council will consider the number of calls volunteers answer, the level of training completed and how much time they spend fundraising, bookkeeping and on other essential duties, Fanucci said. Council will seek input from borough fire chiefs while developing those guidelines and could approve the criteria as early as next month, Fanucci said.

While he said he understands the amount council approved Monday is the legal maximum, Jessup Hose Company 2 First Assistant Chief Joe Fetcho told council members the program isn't enough and won't be much of an incentive when comparing the return to the amount of time volunteers put into their duties.

"I think they should eliminate it for the volunteers, eliminate the property tax, then it might be an incentive," Fetcho said. "But for $30, you might as well keep my $30."

In other business, council voted to hire Larson Design Group for $10,800 to conduct a review of a proposal from Invenergy to discharge industrial wastewater from the Chicago-based company's currently under construction power plant into the municipal sewer system instead of into Grassy Island Creek.

The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa.

Source
McClatchy
Clayton Over
Government representatives are considering new legislation and higher taxes to help support agencies that are losing volunteers.
Several cities and counties are planning to sue for the excessive costs of handling the opioid epidemic, especially for medical services, fire departments, and law enforcement.
Mothers can anonymously drop off their infants in the baby box at fire departments, which sets off a silent alarm alerting EMS personnel that it's in use.
Acushnet ambulances will be using Tylenol, Toradol, and ibuprofen as safer alternatives to fentanyl as the opioid epidemic continues to worsen.
Medline is one of the first to achieve a fentanyl-resistant product in response to the growing opioid epidemic.
A portion of ticket sales will help fund the monument in Keansburg, which will feature a piece of a steel beam from the World Trade Center.
The AAA honored SCCAD's efforts in combating the opioid epidemic with a 2017 AMBY Award in the category of Community Impact Program.
The funds will benefit organizations along the Hudson River such as Rockland Paramedic Services, Nyack Hospital, and Maternal Infant Services Network.
As one of the top ten most active emergency departments in the nation, Reading Hospital staff felt it was time to prepare for an active shooter event.
Doctors participating in Minnesota's Medicaid program could face warnings and even removal from the program if they exceed the new dosage limit for more than half of their patients.
The unique intelligence system delivers verified terror alerts within two minutes of a terror threat or attack anywhere in the world.
Over 100 EMS, fire and police personnel participated in a large-scale active shooter training event at Pechanga Resort & Casino.
Tristan Meadows, leader for the campus group Students for Opioid Solutions, presented a bill to the UND School Senate to purchase 50 Narcan kits.
The LBKAlert system alerts community members through call, text or email notifications of emergency events and instructions on what actions to take to protect themselves.
Dispatchers at New Bern Police Department's communications center are now allowed to provide pre-arrival medical instructions to 9-1-1 callers.