Penn Township to Vote on Expanding Volunteer Tax Credit Program

Penn Township commissioners will vote on expanding the volunteer service credit program to include residents serving in the neighboring Manor Borough Volunteer Fire Department. If approved, eligible volunteers would receive tax credits for their service.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Penn Township to Vote on Expanding Volunteer Tax Credit Program

Penn Township to Vote on Expanding Volunteer Tax Credit Program

The Penn Township commissioners are set to vote Wednesday on a proposal to expand the township's volunteer service credit program to include residents who serve in the neighboring Manor Borough Volunteer Fire Department. The program, enacted in 2018, offers real estate and earned income tax credits to Penn Township residents who volunteer with the township's ambulance or fire services.

Why this matters: This expansion of the volunteer service credit program has broader implications for community engagement and volunteerism, as it incentivizes residents to participate inemergency services that benefit the entire community. By offering tax credits, the program can help increase volunteer retention and recruitment, ultimately leading to improved public safety and emergency response.

Under the expansion, active volunteers who live in Penn Township but serve with the Manor Borough department would be eligible for a refund of up to $350 of their earned income tax and up to 20% of their total township real estate taxes. To qualify, volunteers must have at least one full year of service and a participation score of 23, calculated based on volunteer points earned throughout the year relative to the number of emergency calls and drill events.

The proposed expansion is supported by a 2016 act signed by former Gov. Tom Wolf that allows municipalities to offer tax credits to residents who serve in neighboring volunteer emergency services. Manor Borough officials approached Penn Township about entering into a partnership, and the borough will vote to similarly expand its tax credit program to residents who serve in Penn Township.

"Our board is very supportive of our volunteers, and this is one small way to show appreciation for their service to the community," said Penn Township Secretary Manager Mary Perez. The goal of the program is to encourage membership and service in the community's volunteer fire companies and nonprofit emergency medical service agencies.

The Penn Township commissioners will vote on the volunteer service credit program expansion at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the township municipal building located at 2001 Municipal Court in Harrison City. If approved, the expanded program would provide a valuable incentive for Penn Township residents to actively serve their community through the Manor Borough Volunteer Fire Department.

Key Takeaways

  • Penn Township to vote on expanding volunteer service credit program to include Manor Borough firefighters.
  • Program offers tax credits to residents who volunteer with township's ambulance or fire services.
  • Eligible volunteers can receive up to $350 earned income tax refund and 20% real estate tax credit.
  • Volunteers must have 1+ year of service and a participation score of 23 to qualify.
  • Goal is to encourage membership and service in community's volunteer fire companies and EMS agencies.