senate Bill S3297A

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

See Assembly Version of this Bill:
A4781A
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, A7154
2009-2010: S3983

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S3297A

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, 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
emergency 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:

2013 - S. 3297

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--A

                       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 -- recommitted to the Committee on Investigations  and
  Government  Operations  in  accordance  with  Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 --
  committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as  amended  and
  recommitted to said committee

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 SIXTEEN,
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.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD01265-02-4

S. 3297--A                          2

  (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  SIXTEEN,  A
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 SIXTEEN, 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. 3297--A                          3

  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
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

S. 3297--A                          4

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
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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