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House of Representatives
Session of 2017 - 2018 Regular Session


Posted: January 11, 2017 03:02 PM
From: Representative Dom Costa
To: All House members
Subject: Increasing Occupancy Permit Fees for Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting Services (former House Bill 1230 of 2015)

In the near future, I will be reintroducing legislation—former House Bill 1230 of 2015—that would provide municipalities an additional option for generating revenue for fire prevention services. My legislation amends Act 45 of 1999, the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, giving municipalities the option to assess an additional fee of up to $30 on occupancy permits issued by a municipality. Under my legislation, municipalities would only be able to use the funding for services, equipment, vehicles, maintenance and other related costs associated specifically with firefighting duties.

Please note, under my bill, municipalities would be provided the option of increasing the fee, they would not be forced to increase the fee.

In addition to the aforementioned provisions, I have added new language to this bill that would exempt certain business owners from incurring a fire protection services fee on an occupancy permit. More specifically, an owner who operates a business in a municipality imposing a fire protection services fee, and who is also a resident of the municipality, would be exempt from this fee on commercial construction for that business.

As we all know, municipally-employed and volunteer fire departments are struggling financially. Emergency services often comprise a large portion of municipal budgets. While, on the other hand, volunteer fire departments must rely on fundraisers and grants to support the equipment their firefighters need to protect their communities. It is my hope that this legislation will provide an additional revenue option to help fund the equipment and services firefighters need to continue safely protecting Pennsylvania’s citizens and structures.

I encourage you to join me in co-sponsoring this legislation.

Introduced as HB294