a fire truck parked in a parking lot

CFC volunteers could benefit from tax refund

Terry Rogers Headlines, Milford Headline Story, Police & Fire

a fire truck parked in a parking lot

Carlisle Fire Company volunteers could see a property tax refund of up to $1,000 if they own and live in a home within city limits

At a recent meeting, Milford City Council approved an updated Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Carlisle Fire Company that could allow their volunteers to receive a tax refund of up to $1,000.

“In the FY2023 budget, one of the items in the budget was an additional $65,000 that was to go to Carlisle and that $65,000 was to pay for additional EMT firefighters that would be relocated or be located at the station that would improve response times,” Mark Whitfield, City Manager, said, “In order memorialize what the agreement was between Carlisle and the city I have put together an MOU that outlines what this $65,000 is for and that they will do reporting of such  on their response time.”

In addition to the additional $65,000 provided to the fire company, the city will now offer a tax refund up to $1,000 of city property taxes for company volunteers.

“In order to qualify for the refund, the volunteer must be listed as active which means he or she has responded to at least 30% of all the calls for a 12 month consecutive period, that they provide proof of residency that they have owned and occupied the home for a full 12 months, provide a receipt that they actually paid the taxes and that the city retains the right to determine final eligibility,” Whitfield said. “We reviewed this with the fire company and they agreed to this change in the MOU and we’ve also agreed that we would relook at the MOU that we signed back in 2020 and do a revision to include these items here.”

Councilman Jason James supported the new MOU terms.

“I think this addresses council’s request that there was some accountability for the taxpayer funds that we were allowing to be passed on to the fire department and it is to increase response time and safety for the residents of the city Milford,” Councilman James said. “I think there’s a way this can be measured or at least try to attempt to measure it. I think it’s a good faith effort to show partnership for the safety of our citizens.”

Councilman Andy Fulton also felt that this agreement would be beneficial to the volunteers who risk their lives for the safety of others.

“The incentive is also wonderful for the people that get up in the middle of night to run out to fight fire, save lives, so on and so forth,” Councilman Fulton said. “I think this is a wonderful thing we’re doing, helping them increase their staffing. Also, increase the response time. It will decrease the response time and make everyone a little bit safer.”

Whitfield commented that it was his hope that the fund would require additional money due to an increase of volunteer firefighters living within city limits.

The MOU changes passed unanimously and the tax refund will be in place starting with the 2023-24 fiscal year which begins July 1, 2023.

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