The statutory authority for this article is PA 99-272.
To encourage and increase volunteer participation in the fire and emergency medical services, there is hereby established a program to abate the real and/or personal property taxes due for any fiscal year in an amount not to exceed $1,000 for a resident of the Town of Wilton who volunteers his or her services as a firefighter, emergency medical technician, paramedic or ambulance driver in the Town. The amount of the abatement shall correlate to each volunteer's level of participation in the calls, training and other activities of the organization, exclusive of events and activities that are purely or primarily social or recreational in nature.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The Town of Wilton Fire Department, the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps, and the Georgetown Fire District.
- PARTICIPATION LEVEL PLAN ("PLAN")
- A systematic, internally consistent method used by each organization to numerically quantify the extent of each volunteer's participation in the organization's nonsocial and nonrecreational activities.
- PRESIDING OFFICER
- The Chief of the Wilton Fire Department, the President of the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps, or the President of the Georgetown Volunteer Fire District.
- A resident of the Town of Wilton who, without compensation or for de minimis compensation, serves as a firefighter, emergency medical technician, paramedic or ambulance driver for the Town of Wilton Fire Department, the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corporation, or the Georgetown Fire District. Volunteer shall not include a person who provides and is compensated for said services in a manner or amount that makes the person an employee of the Town of Wilton, the Wilton Volunteer Ambulance Corps or the Georgetown Fire District under applicable federal or state laws or regulations.
- YEAR OF SERVICE
- A full calendar year of availability to serve as a volunteer. Inability to volunteer because of military service with the United States or because of injury or illness sustained in the course of providing volunteer service shall not constitute interruptions of service.
To be eligible for the abatement, the volunteer must have at least one year of service as of any December 31. In no event shall participation in more than one organization entitle a volunteer to an abatement of more than $1,000.
Abatements for the fiscal year of enactment.
No later than 30 days after the enactment hereof, each organization shall submit to the Board of Selectmen for review and approval a proposed plan to quantify the extent of each volunteer's service and assign it to one of four levels of participation as follows:
The Board may disapprove of or make any changes in said plans it deems necessary or appropriate to achieve the purposes of this article. If approved by the Board of Selectmen, the plans shall, without further modifications, govern all abatements of fiscal 2001, and of subsequent fiscal years unless changed as hereinafter provided. Each plan shall be accompanied by a list, signed by the presiding officer, showing each volunteer's name, residence address, and the calculation of the participation level for the calendar year ended December 31, 1999.
Abatements for fiscal years subsequent to enactment. No later than January 31 of each year, each organization shall submit to the Tax Collector a list signed by the presiding officer showing each volunteer's name, residence address, and the calculation of the participation level for the immediately preceding calendar year. The Tax Collector shall ascertain if an eligible volunteer is delinquent on taxes or any other financial obligation to the Town. If any delinquency exists, the Tax Collector shall notify the volunteer in writing on or before April 1 that the credit cannot be granted until all such delinquencies are paid or otherwise resolved to the Town's satisfaction on or before May 31. No abatement granted under this article shall be used to satisfy any such obligation to the Town.
Any proposed changes to approved participation level plans, together with adequate documentation and explanations, must be submitted to the Board of Selectmen by December 31. If approved, the changes shall apply prospectively to fiscal years commencing after approval. No changes to an approved plan may be made subsequent to submission of the annual budget to the Board of Finance, as prescribed by § C-31B(1) of the Charter.
The Tax Collector shall apply an abatement in the following order of priority: real estate, motor vehicle, personal property and shall be applied 50% to each installment of taxes as applicable. No abatement shall exceed the taxes due for a fiscal year. A credit balance resulting from the application of an abatement shall be treated as an overpayment by the Tax Collector.
When a property has more than one owner, the amount of the abatement applied cannot exceed the volunteer's proportionate share of the taxes due.
Any unused abatement or portion thereof shall expire at the end of the fiscal year for which it is granted.
This article shall be effective December 18, 2000.