CFPC: Sample Tax Abatement Ordinance Language

Sample Tax Abatement Ordinance Language

Provided Courtesy of Attorney Roberto Teschudin Lucheme
212 New London Tpk., Glastonbury, CT

Proposed Ordinance City / Town of East Anywhere
Tax Abatement Program for Certain Emergency Services Volunteers

(a) PREAMBLE: The provisions of Public Act 99-272 Section 6 are hereby adopted, and are set forth in subsections (b), (c), (d), (e) and (f).

(b) DEFINITIONS:

(1) "Active" shall mean certified by the Chief of the East Anywhere Volunteer Fire Department, the Chief of West Anywhere Volunteer Fire Department, the Chief of the North Anywhere Volunteer Fire Department, the Chief of the South Anywhere Volunteer Fire Department, or the Chief of the East Anywhere Volunteer Ambulance, as to members of their respective organizations, or on or before the certification date, as eligible for tax abatement under this ordinance.
(2) "Certification Date" shall mean March 15 of the assessment year commencing October 1, 1999 and each assessment year thereafter.
(3) "Eligible Resident" shall mean each resident of the Town of East Anywhere who volunteers his or her services:

(A) as an active firefighter for the East Anywhere Volunteer Fire Department,
(B) as an active firefighter for the West Anywhere Volunteer Fire Department, or
(C) as an active firefighter for the North Anywhere Volunteer Fire Department
(D) as an active firefighter for the South Anywhere Volunteer Fire Department, or
(E) as an active emergency medical technician, paramedic or ambulance driver for the East Anywhere Volunteer Ambulance Association.

(4) "Benefit" shall mean the reduction in property taxes described in subsection (c) below.

(c) BENEFIT: Each eligible resident shall be entitled to a $1,000.00 reduction in property taxes otherwise due from that resident for the fiscal year next following the certification date.

(d) LIMITATIONS: The benefit shall be subject to the following limitations:

(1) Residents who are eligible residents under two or more among (b)(3)(A-E) shall be entitled to one benefit only.

(e) MECHANISM: The respective Chiefs of the East Anywhere Volunteer Ambulance and of the East, West, North and South Anywhere Volunteer Fire Departments shall, on or before the certification date:

(1) submit their original certifications to the Tax Collector for the Town of East Anywhere and
(2) forward a copy of their certifications to:

(a) the Board of Finance,
(b) the Office of the First Selectman/Mayor
(c) the Office of the Tax Assessor,
(d) the Board of Public Safety,
(e) the Boards of Directors of the East, West, North and South Anywhere Volunteer Fire Departments,
(f) the Board of Fire Commissioners, and
(g) the Board of Directors of the East Anywhere Ambulance Association.

(f) ELIGIBILITY: The East, West, North and South Anywhere Volunteer Fire Departments and the East Anywhere Volunteer Ambulance Association shall determine the criteria for certification of eligibility for their respective members which criteria shall not be less stringent than the criteria for attendance at emergency responses, training and drills for yearly credit toward the respective pension plans of the East, West, North and South Anywhere Volunteer Fire Departments and the East Anywhere Volunteer Ambulance Association.

Commentary

(a) PREAMBLE: This subsection connects the ordinance to the enabling legislation, whose purpose is to attract new volunteers and retain existing volunteers.

(b) DEFINITIONS: This subsection defines terms in a way that tracks the enabling legislation.

(c) BENEFIT: This subsection defines the benefit in a way that tracks the enabling legislation. It limits the benefit to a reduction in property taxes, so volunteers who do not owe property taxes realize no benefit, and volunteers who owe less than $1,000 in property taxes realize a smaller benefit.

(d) LIMITATIONS: This subsection prevents residents who belong to more than one of the volunteer fire department or who belong to both a volunteer fire department and volunteer ambulance from getting a double benefit. This limitation reflects the memberships' desire to avoid artificial cross-pollination for the mere purpose of obtaining a greater tax abatement rather than dual or triple membership based on genuine interest and the perception that the time volunteered by most individuals tends to be approximately the same regardless of whether the volunteers spend their time exclusively for one fire department or in combined participation in more than one organization.

An additional limitation restricting the benefit to one per married couple was considered and abandoned because of fairness concerns.

(e) MECHANISM: This subsection sets forth a mechanism for providing adequate notice to the Tax Collector so that he or she can make the necessary adjustments to tax bills in a timely way. It also provides a mechanism for providing similar notice to the entities like a Board of Finance, Office of the First Selectman and Office of the Tax Assessor so that these entities can adequately plan in anticipation of abatements. Finally it provides similar notice to entities like the Board of Fire Commissioners and the Board of Directors of the Ambulance so that these entities can stay in the information loop.

(f) ELIGIBILITY: This subsection sets forth, as a minimum, compliance with the requirements already in place for pension plan credit, while allowing the fire departments and ambulance services respectively to create more stringent qualifications for the abatement should they wish to do so either now or in the future.



Content Last Modified on 6/2/2002 3:08:48 PM