SR mayor proposes tax credit for first responders

Borough wants to lead by example in 'small town, USA'

Published by Matthew Glover, Date: February 15, 2023
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Slippery Rock Mayor JonDavid Longo is proposing a tax credit of up to $250 for first responders living in the Slippery Rock Borough.

Longo is often asked how Slippery Rock will ensure that emergency and medical first responder services are available to constituents.

The tax credit is designed to motivate individuals to join the ranks of first responders and motivate current first responders to continue to serve the community in that way.

“If your tax liability is less than $250—and usually it is for local earned income tax—the borough would essentially be covering that,” Longo said.

The tax credit goes to members of the Slippery Rock Volunteer Fire Company (SRVFC) and Rescue Team, SRPD, SRUPD, Butler County Sheriff’s Department and state police who live in Slippery Rock Borough.

Longo said it is important that the local government is making sure people looking for first responder work understand that Slippery Rock will uniquely acknowledge their service with respect and appreciation.

“There are a lot of people leaving Erie and Pittsburgh looking for a little bit of small-town U.S.A.,” he said.

The credit also incentivizes first responders with families to live and raise their families in Slippery Rock and enroll their children in the school district and at SRU.

It could also encourage volunteers living outside the borough to claim their address within the borough which makes them residents and affects measures that depend on the population like the liquid fuel tax.

The tax credit is also a chance for Slippery Rock to lead by example. On Tuesday alone, three municipalities called Longo asking for the language of the proposal. The Council of Governments (COG) that Slippery Rock Borough recently joined is also interested.

Not all the municipalities around Slippery Rock have police departments, but those that do are also looking for ways to motivate their residents to serve as first responders.

Longo and the Slippery Rock Borough Council are keeping the proposal close for now until they have finished developing it.

“I proposed $250, but perhaps the council might have another direction and want to go higher or lower,” Longo said.

He intends to have language that is agreeable to everyone by the end of the month for implementation at the beginning of next month.

In the five years he has been mayor, Longo is proud the borough has not raised taxes while other municipalities around Slippery Rock have.

“That’s because we’ve been so good about making sure we’re being good stewards of our taxpayers’ dollars,” he said.

Slippery Rock Borough enjoyed a $50,000 surplus in 2022 which is the basis for this tax credit.

Longo spoke to SRVFC Fire Chief Ryan Hanchosky and concluded that there are only about 20 to 30 active members of the SRVFC living in the borough.

“We’re looking at 30 to 50 people maximum that this would touch,” Longo said.

The Slippery Rock Borough Council meetings are held on the first and third Tuesday of every month at 7 p.m.

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