senate Bill S3297

Amended

Enacts the "omnibus emergency services volunteer incentive act" to provide certain benefits to volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
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actions

  • 31 / Jan / 2013
    • REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • 08 / Jan / 2014
    • REFERRED TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • 27 / Jan / 2014
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO INVESTIGATIONS AND GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS
  • 27 / Jan / 2014
    • PRINT NUMBER 3297A
  • 02 / Jun / 2014
    • REPORTED AND COMMITTED TO FINANCE
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1378
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 16 / Jun / 2014
    • REFERRED TO WAYS AND MEANS

Summary

Enacts the "omnibus emergency services volunteer incentive act" to provide benefits to volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers; increases the personal income tax deduction after four or more years of service; exempts motor vehicles used in the performance of such volunteers' duties from registration fees, use taxes and special fees for volunteer license plates; authorizes the provision of municipal health insurance coverage to such volunteers; establishes a volunteer recruitment service loan forgiveness program.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S3297
S3297A
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Tax Law
Laws Affected:
Amd §606, Tax L; amd §§9104 & 9105, Ins L; amd §§401, 404-b & 404-f, V & T L; add §669-e, Ed L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2011-2012: S4646
2009-2010: S3983

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3297

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the tax law, the insurance law, the
vehicle and traffic law and the education law, in relation to enacting
the omnibus emergency services volunteer incentive act

PURPOSE: To institute an incentive program for emergency services
volunteers.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1. Title of bill.

Section 2. Authorizes a four hundred dollar tax credit for volunteer
firefighters and ambulance workers who have been active for four or more
consecutive years, so long as they are not receiving a property tax
exemption for such volunteer services.

Sections 3 and 4. Authorizes the fire insurance premium currently
charged to foreign mutual fire insurance companies for the benefit, in
part, of fire companies, to be used for volunteer recruitment and
retention purposes, including contributions to the cost of medical
insurance for volunteers.

Sections 5, 6 and 7. Exempts from registration and vehicle use taxes,
motor vehicles owned and used in the performance of their duty by emer-
gency services volunteers.

Section 8. Amends the current provisions of the volunteer recruitment
service scholarships so that volunteer organizations can submit the name
of up to three qualified candidates.

Section 9. Creates a volunteer recruitment service loan forgiveness
program.

JUSTIFICATION: New York State should recognize and reward the critical
role fire and emergency services volunteers play in our communities. It
is the intention of this legislation to provide a measure of gratitude
and reasonable incentives to those persons who willfully volunteer their
time, skills and services for such purposes.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2009: S.3983, A.5186C

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Undetermined.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately. Sections 6, 7
and 8 would apply to fees, charges and taxes imposed after the effective
date.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                  3297

                       2013-2014 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 31, 2013
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  O'MARA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Investigations and Govern-
  ment Operations

AN ACT to amend the tax law, the insurance law, the vehicle and  traffic
  law  and  the education law, in relation to enacting the omnibus emer-
  gency services volunteer incentive act

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Short  title. This act shall be known and may be cited as
the "omnibus emergency services volunteer incentive act".
  S 2. Paragraphs 1 and 3 of subsection (e-1) of section 606 of the  tax
law,  paragraph  1  as added by section 1 of part U of chapter 62 of the
laws of 2006 and paragraph 3 as added by section 4 of part N of  chapter
61 of the laws of 2006, are amended to read as follows:
  (1)  For taxable years beginning on and after January first, two thou-
sand seven, a resident taxpayer who serves as an active volunteer  fire-
fighter  as defined in subdivision one of section two hundred fifteen of
the general municipal law or as a volunteer ambulance worker as  defined
in subdivision fourteen of section two hundred nineteen-k of the general
municipal  law shall be allowed a credit against the tax imposed by this
article equal to two hundred dollars. In order to receive this credit  a
volunteer  firefighter  or  volunteer  ambulance  worker  must have been
active for the entire taxable year for which the credit is sought.   FOR
TAXABLE YEARS BEGINNING ON OR AFTER JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN,
A  VOLUNTEER  FIREFIGHTER  OR  VOLUNTEER  AMBULANCE  WORKER WHO HAS BEEN
ACTIVE FOR FOUR OR MORE CONSECUTIVE TAXABLE YEARS SHALL  BE  ALLOWED  AN
ADDITIONAL CREDIT EQUAL TO FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS.
  (3)  In the case of a husband and wife who file a joint return and who
both individually qualify for the  credit  under  this  subsection,  the
amount of the credit allowed shall be four hundred dollars.  FOR TAXABLE
YEARS  BEGINNING  ON  OR  AFTER  JANUARY  FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, A

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01265-01-3

S. 3297                             2

HUSBAND AND WIFE WHO FILE A JOINT RETURN AND WHO BOTH INDIVIDUALLY QUAL-
IFY FOR THE ADDITIONAL CREDIT UNDER THIS SUBSECTION, THE AMOUNT  OF  THE
ADDITIONAL CREDIT SHALL BE EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS.
  S  3. Section 606 of the tax law is amended by adding a new subsection
(e-2) to read as follows:
  (E-2) VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS' AND AMBULANCE WORKERS' CREDIT  FOR  FOUR
OR  MORE  YEARS OF SERVICE. (1) FOR TAXABLE YEARS COMMENCING ON OR AFTER
JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, A RESIDENT TAXPAYER WHO HAS  SERVED
AS  AN  ACTIVE  VOLUNTEER  FIREFIGHTER  AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION ONE OF
SECTION TWO HUNDRED FIFTEEN OF THE GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW OR AS A  VOLUN-
TEER  AMBULANCE WORKER AS DEFINED IN SUBDIVISION FOURTEEN OF SECTION TWO
HUNDRED NINETEEN-K OF THE GENERAL MUNICIPAL LAW FOR FOUR OR MORE CONSEC-
UTIVE YEARS SHALL BE ALLOWED A CREDIT AGAINST THE TAX  IMPOSED  BY  THIS
ARTICLE EQUAL TO FOUR HUNDRED DOLLARS. IN ORDER TO RECEIVE THIS CREDIT A
VOLUNTEER  FIREFIGHTER  OR  VOLUNTEER  AMBULANCE  WORKER  MUST HAVE BEEN
ACTIVE FOR THE ENTIRE FOUR OR MORE CONSECUTIVE TAXABLE YEARS  FOR  WHICH
THE CREDIT IS SOUGHT.
  (2)  IF  A TAXPAYER RECEIVES A REAL PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION RELATING TO
SUCH SERVICE UNDER TITLE TWO OF ARTICLE FOUR OF THE  REAL  PROPERTY  TAX
LAW, SUCH TAXPAYER SHALL NOT BE ELIGIBLE FOR THIS CREDIT.
  (3)  IN THE CASE OF A HUSBAND AND WIFE WHO FILE A JOINT RETURN AND WHO
BOTH INDIVIDUALLY QUALIFY FOR THE  CREDIT  UNDER  THIS  SUBSECTION,  THE
AMOUNT OF THE CREDIT SHALL BE EIGHT HUNDRED DOLLARS.
  (4)  IF THE AMOUNT OF THE CREDIT ALLOWED UNDER THIS SUBSECTION FOR ANY
TAXABLE YEAR SHALL EXCEED THE TAXPAYER'S TAX FOR SUCH YEAR,  THE  EXCESS
SHALL  BE TREATED AS AN OVERPAYMENT OF TAX TO BE CREDITED OR REFUNDED IN
ACCORDANCE WITH THE PROVISIONS OF SECTION SIX HUNDRED EIGHTY-SIX OF THIS
ARTICLE; PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT NO INTEREST SHALL BE PAID THEREON.
  S 4. Subsection (f) of section 9104 of the insurance law is amended by
adding a new paragraph 3 to read as follows:
  (3) THE FIRE COMPANY OR FIRE DEPARTMENT RECEIVING THE SAME, TO USE FOR
RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION PURPOSES, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, TOTAL
OR PARTIAL CONTRIBUTION TO THE COST OF PARTICIPATION IN A PLAN  FOR  THE
PROVISION OF MEDICAL, SURGICAL AND HOSPITAL SERVICES OR INSURANCE.
  S  5.  Paragraph  3 of subsection (d) of section 9105 of the insurance
law is amended by adding a new subparagraph (C) to read as follows:
  (C) THE FIRE COMPANY OR FIRE DEPARTMENT RECEIVING THE SAME, TO USE FOR
RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION PURPOSES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO,  TOTAL
OR  PARTIAL  CONTRIBUTION TO THE COST OF PARTICIPATION IN A PLAN FOR THE
PROVISION OF MEDICAL, SURGICAL AND HOSPITAL SERVICES OR INSURANCE.
  S 6. Subdivision 6 of section 401 of the vehicle and  traffic  law  is
amended by adding a new paragraph f to read as follows:
  F.  NOTWITHSTANDING  ANY PROVISION OF THIS CHAPTER OR ANY OTHER LAW TO
THE CONTRARY, ANY MOTOR VEHICLE OWNED BY  A  VOLUNTEER  FIREFIGHTER,  AS
DEFINED  IN SECTION THREE OF THE VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS' BENEFIT LAW, OR
A VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE WORKER, AS DEFINED IN SECTION THREE OF THE  VOLUN-
TEER  AMBULANCE  WORKERS' BENEFIT LAW, AND USED BY SUCH VOLUNTEER IN THE
PERFORMANCE OF HIS OR HER DUTIES AS A VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER OR VOLUNTEER
AMBULANCE WORKER SHALL BE EXEMPT FROM  ALL  MOTOR  VEHICLE  REGISTRATION
FEES  AND  FROM  ANY  VEHICLE  USE OR OTHER TAX BASED UPON THE WEIGHT OR
VALUE OF SUCH MOTOR VEHICLE.
  S 7. Subdivision 3 of section 404-b of the vehicle and traffic law, as
amended by chapter 277 of the laws  of  1991,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  3. A distinctive plate issued pursuant to this section shall be issued
in  the  same  manner as other number plates upon payment of the regular

S. 3297                             3

registration fee prescribed by section four hundred one of  this  [chap-
ter]  ARTICLE and an initial one time service charge of fifteen dollars;
PROVIDED, HOWEVER, NO SUCH REGISTRATION FEE OR SERVICE CHARGE  SHALL  BE
IMPOSED  FOR  A  MOTOR  VEHICLE  USED  BY A VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER IN THE
PERFORMANCE OF HIS OR HER DUTIES.
  S 8. Subdivision 3 of section 404-f of the vehicle and traffic law, as
amended by chapter 277 of the laws  of  1991,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  3. A distinctive plate issued pursuant to this section shall be issued
in  the  same  manner as other number plates upon payment of the regular
registration fee prescribed by section four hundred one of  this  [chap-
ter] ARTICLE and an additional annual service charge of fifteen dollars;
PROVIDED,  HOWEVER,  NO SUCH REGISTRATION FEE OR SERVICE CHARGE SHALL BE
IMPOSED FOR A MOTOR VEHICLE USED BY A MEMBER OF  A  VOLUNTEER  AMBULANCE
SERVICE IN THE PERFORMANCE OF HIS OR HER DUTIES.
  S  9.  The  education  law is amended by adding a new section 669-e to
read as follows:
  S 669-E. VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT SERVICE LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM.    1.
PURPOSE.  THE  CORPORATION IS AUTHORIZED, WITHIN AMOUNTS APPROPRIATED OR
OTHERWISE LAWFULLY AVAILABLE FROM  ANY  OTHER  SOURCE,  TO  ESTABLISH  A
RECRUITMENT LOAN FORGIVENESS PROGRAM FOR VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS.
  2.  ELIGIBILITY.  THE  CORPORATION  MAY  GRANT  SUCH AWARDS WITHIN THE
AMOUNTS APPROPRIATED FOR SUCH PURPOSE AND BASED ON AVAILABILITY OF FUNDS
ACCORDING TO A SCHEDULE TO BE  DETERMINED  BY  THE  CORPORATION  IN  THE
FOLLOWING MANNER:
  A.  VOLUNTEER  ORGANIZATIONS,  INCLUDING  AN  "AMBULANCE  COMPANY"  AS
DEFINED IN SECTION THREE OF THE VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE WORKERS' BENEFIT LAW
OR "FIRE COMPANY" AS DEFINED IN SECTION THREE  OF  THE  VOLUNTEER  FIRE-
FIGHTERS'  BENEFIT  LAW, MAY ANNUALLY SUBMIT NO MORE THAN THREE APPLICA-
TIONS TO THE CORPORATION;
  B. VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS SUBMITTING  APPLICATIONS  SHALL  DEVELOP  A
POLICY  FOR ELECTING THE CANDIDATES THAT WILL BE FORWARDED TO THE CORPO-
RATION. A VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION THAT SUBMITS MORE THAN ONE  APPLICATION
SHALL LIST THE CANDIDATES IN ORDER OF PRIORITY;
  C.  THE  CORPORATION  SHALL DESIGNATE A DATE BY WHICH ALL APPLICATIONS
SHALL BE RECEIVED BY THE CORPORATION;
  D. THE CORPORATION SHALL AWARD VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT LOAN  FORGIVENESS
BENEFITS  TO  ALL  ELIGIBLE APPLICANTS UNLESS THE NUMBER OF APPLICATIONS
RECEIVED ARE GREATER THAN THE FUNDING  AVAILABLE  FOR  THE  PROGRAM,  IN
WHICH  CASE  THE CORPORATION SHALL DEVELOP A RANDOM SYSTEM FOR SELECTING
THE RECIPIENTS. IF FUNDS REMAIN AVAILABLE IN THE PROGRAM AFTER AN ELIGI-
BLE APPLICANT FROM EACH VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION  THAT  HAS  SUBMITTED  AN
ELIGIBLE CANDIDATE HAS BEEN AWARDED ONE LOAN FORGIVENESS AWARD, THEN THE
CORPORATION MAY AWARD AN ADDITIONAL LOAN FORGIVENESS AWARD TO APPLICANTS
FROM  VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATIONS THAT HAVE SUBMITTED MORE THAN ONE ELIGIBLE
CANDIDATE. THE CORPORATION SHALL DEVELOP A RANDOM SYSTEM  FOR  SELECTING
THE RECIPIENTS OF ANY SUCH ADDITIONAL AWARDS;
  E.  A RECIPIENT OF THE VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT LOAN FORGIVENESS BENEFITS
SHALL  AUTOMATICALLY  CONTINUE  TO  RECEIVE  THE  BENEFIT  ONCE  AWARDED
PROVIDED  THAT  THE  RECIPIENT  REMAINS COMPLIANT WITH THE PROVISIONS OF
THIS SECTION, AND FUNDING IS AVAILABLE. IF THERE IS A  SHORTAGE  IN  THE
FUNDING  AVAILABLE,  FUNDS SHALL BE AWARDED BASED ON A ONE PER ORGANIZA-
TION BASIS BEFORE ANY ADDITIONAL AWARDS ARE RECEIVED BY APPLICANTS  FROM
A VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION WHERE MORE THAN ONE MEMBER RECEIVED AN AWARD;
  F.  THE CORPORATION SHALL DEVELOP A SYSTEM FOR CERTIFYING ON AN ANNUAL
BASIS THAT THE RECIPIENT IS COMPLIANT WITH THE CONDITIONS ENUMERATED  IN

S. 3297                             4

THIS  SECTION PRIOR TO RECEIVING THE VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT LOAN FORGIVE-
NESS BENEFIT, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO:
  (I)  MEMBERSHIP IN, AND MAINTENANCE OF AN ACTIVE VOLUNTEER STATUS IN A
VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION FOR NOT LESS THAN ONE YEAR AT  THE  TIME  OF  THE
INITIAL AWARD;
  (II) GRADUATION FROM A DEGREE PRODUCING CURRICULUM; AND
  G.  UPON  THE RECIPIENT'S ATTAINMENT OF LOAN REPAYMENT OR CESSATION OF
STATUS AS A VOLUNTEER WITH THE VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION,  WHICHEVER  COMES
FIRST,  THE  BENEFIT PROVIDED BY THIS SECTION SHALL BE DISCONTINUED. THE
BENEFIT PROVIDED BY THIS SECTION SHALL BE SUSPENDED AT THE DIRECTION  OF
THE  CORPORATION  FOR  A  RECIPIENT'S  FAILURE TO CONTINUE TO SERVE AS A
VOLUNTEER WITH THE VOLUNTEER ORGANIZATION, OR FOR THE FAILURE TO  COMPLY
WITH ANY PROVISION OF THIS SECTION.
  3.  AMOUNT. UNLESS OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR IN THIS SECTION, THE BENEFIT
FOR THE VOLUNTEER RECRUITMENT LOAN FORGIVENESS AWARD  SHALL  BE  ON  THE
TERMS  AND  CONDITIONS  SET  BY  THE CORPORATION, PROVIDED THAT ANY SUCH
BENEFIT SHALL NOT EXCEED AN AMOUNT EQUAL TO THE ANNUAL  LOAN  AMOUNT  OF
THE  RECIPIENT, THE ANNUAL TUITION WHICH WAS CHARGED TO THE RECIPIENT OR
THE ANNUAL TUITION CHARGED BY THE STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK, WHICHEV-
ER IS LESS. IN NO CASE SHALL AN AWARD BE  GRANTED  FOR  MORE  THAN  FIVE
YEARS.
  4.  RULES  AND  REGULATIONS.  THE  CORPORATION IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO
PROMULGATE ANY RULES AND REGULATIONS NECESSARY FOR THE IMPLEMENTATION OF
THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION.
  S 10. This act shall take effect  immediately,  except  that  sections
six,  seven and eight of this act shall apply to fees, charges and taxes
imposed on or after such date.

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