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4-7 Ordinance providing tax abatement for volunteer firefighters and ambulance personnel

Section 1.      The property taxes of each volunteer firefighter or volunteer ambulance member of the Town of Stafford who has served as a volunteer for the Town of Stafford for not less than one (1) immediately preceding calendar year and who owes Town property taxes for real property and/or motor vehicles owned by such volunteer shall have any real and/or motor vehicle property taxes owed to the Town of Stafford by such volunteer abated up to the lesser of the amount shown in the following schedule or the total Town taxes due:


1. Abatement shall be on a sliding scale as follows:


In order to participate a member must attain a minimum of 75 points during the preceding calendar year.  75 points will give a $500.00 abatement, 80 points will give $600.00, 85 points $700.00, 90 points $800.00, 95 points $900.00, 100 points or more $1,000.00. 


                Fire and ambulance department point system


1.   Regular or special meetings                5 points

2.   Toned calls (5 PM to 7 AM)             2 points

                         (7 AM to 5 PM)            3 points

3.   Drills, Training                                   1 point

4.   Senior Member [1]                          75 points



Special Situation for the Stafford Springs Volunteer Fire Department

for the year January 2000 to December 2000:


From January 1, 2000 to June 15, 2000 the chief of the Stafford Springs Volunteer Fire Department (SSVFD) will certify calls, drills and meetings at the agreed upon point system. After July 1, 2000 and continuing until such time as litigation shall cease, no operational duties remain so all certifications shall be done by the president.  This section shall be revised subsequent to resolution of current litigation.  Until such time, points for SSVFD shall be earned as follows:


1.      Fire Department meetings                                             2 points

2.      Court Attendance                                                         2 points per hour

3.      Meetings with local officials                                           2 points per hour

4.      Meetings with officers of other departments                   2 points per hour

5.      Senior Member                                                            75 points


[1] For purposes of this Ordinance, “Senior Member” shall mean a member who has not less than twenty-five (25) years of active volunteer service to the Town of Stafford in any combination of fire departments and/or ambulance departments, except that simultaneous service shall not be counted as two separate years.



2. The Chiefs of Stafford Fire Department # 1 and the West Stafford Fire Department, and the Presidents of SSVFD and the Ambulance Association will submit all names with the total number of points earned by each member in the preceding calendar year to the Town with supporting documentation by March 1st after the close of the calendar year on December 31st.


3. The Town will have the right to verify the names and points and to look at the organization' books to resolve any discrepancies or questions.


4. No waivers or exceptions can be made to this abatement ordinance and this ordinance shall supercede all organizational bylaws, rules, and regulations, which shall be in conflict with this abatement ordinance.


5. Anyone aggrieved by the amount of the abatement may appeal to the Board of Selectmen during the month of April. Failure to appeal by the end of April shall constitute a waiver of the appeal.


6. The abatement shall be deducted from the Stafford TOWN taxes due and not from the Service District or the Sewer User fees.


7. No stipend shall be given to a member who does not own property in Stafford and no inter local agreements will be entered into for non-residents.  Members who qualify but are not current in their taxes shall have the abatement credited to the oldest tax liability outstanding. Property must be owned by the qualifying member and not by a corporation, LLC, partnership, or another family member.


8. Each volunteer who qualifies shall receive the abatement up to the total Stafford town taxes owed, regardless of household maximum.


9. If a member participates in two or more services only the highest point value will be counted for one service.


10. Paid emergency service personnel are ineligible for the ambulance abatement program.


11. By majority vote, the Board of Selectmen may make minor revisions to this ordinance without need for a Town Meeting.


12. Any active volunteer firefighter or ambulance member who is receiving a tax abatement under the terms of this ordinance and who is called to active duty for the United States Military shall continue to receive the same tax abatement that they were receiving prior to being called to duty.


This ordinance shall take effect and shall be applicable to taxes owed beginning with taxes on the Grand List of October 1, 2000, Due and payable on July 1, 2001.


Adopted: 5-30-01

Published: 6-4-01

Revised : 7-11-02 (article 12 added as allowed by article 11).

Revised: 8-8-02



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