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Township Explores Firefighters’ Tax Credit Offer

SANATOGA PA – Volunteers who are active members of the Sanatoga and Ringing Hill fire companies may be able to benefit from a discount on paying earned income and property taxes imposed by Lower Pottsgrove, if the township proceeds to offer relief available under a 2016 Pennsylvania law. The tax credit is intended to recognize the value of their otherwise uncompensated service.

The Board of Commissioners is only in the tentative stages of exploring the proposal, which was suggested during their Monday (Feb. 5, 2018) meeting by Commissioner Earl Swavely Jr. His colleagues granted his request to further research the legislation and determine if it make sense for use here.

Pennsylvania Act 172 of 2016 grants municipalities the authority to offer active volunteers a tax credit of up to 20 percent of their tax liability, based on the number of calls a volunteer responded to, or their training or participation in organizational functions. The amount of credit, and the levels of involvement, ultimately must be agreed upon by the companies and the board.

The tax credit program is not mandatory, and is available only as an option to municipalities. If commissioners decide it’s a good fit for the township, they would be required to enact an ordinance to implement it, according to the Pennsylvania Association of Boroughs. Several Montgomery County townships have adopted relief measures, Swavely noted.

Swavely expects to present more information to the board in coming meetings, he added.

Related (to the Lower Pottsgrove Board of Commissioners’ Feb. 5 meeting):

Photo from Google Images

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