HARRISBURG – The Senate Veterans Affairs & Emergency Preparedness Committee advanced three measures, according to Senator Pat Stefano (R-32), committee chairman. These measures included legislation to amend the Constitution by expanding the Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption program; legislation to allow municipal fire companies to participate in the Fire & EMS Loan Program; and legislation to delay implementing the Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund Formula a year.
Senate Bill 578, sponsored by Senators Camera Bartolotta (R-Washington) and Elder Vogel (R-Beaver), would amend the Pennsylvania Constitution by changing the Disabled Veterans Property Tax Exemption Program. Currently, a veteran must be 100% disabled to receive a 100% exemption from property taxes. The bill would permit spouses of soldiers killed in action to be eligible for the property tax exemption. It would also eliminate the requirement that soldiers’ disability come during a period of war. Finally, the bill would exclude disability income from being included in their calculation of income.
“For years, Pennsylvania has provided our veterans who are 100% disabled to be exempt from their local property taxes,” said Sen. Stefano. “It is only right that we permit spouses of soldiers that made the ultimate sacrifice to also be eligible.”
Senate Bill 739, sponsored by Sen. Stefano, would permit municipal fire companies to apply for and receive low-interest loans under the State Fire & EMS Loan Program.
“During the May Primary, voters overwhelmingly approved a Ballot Question authorizing municipal fire companies to be able to participate in this program,” said Sen. Stefano. “This legislation would codify this measure into law.”
Senate Bill 740, also sponsored by Sen. Stefano, would delay implementing the new Emergency Medical Services Operating Fund (EMSOF) formula.
“In 2020, the General Assembly passed, and the Governor signed into law Act 93, which put in place a new funding formula based on increased revenues,” said Sen. Stefano. “Unfortunately, the revenues from the program were not realized, and as such, we must delay implementation until they do come in so that EMS agencies that are already struggling financially are not hurt any further.”
The bills now go to the full Senate for consideration. For a link to the video from the meeting, click HERE.
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