The Town does nothing for the Fire Department so WSFR should be on their own merits

One never hears that the Town does anything for their firefighters.  We know there is no money but the sad part  is since Ken Daniels mentioned that any donations to the fire department must be taxed, the town has kept the Fire Department’s Money.

I believe if anyone questions what I am about to say, they should ask Scott Gay who is knowledgeable and honest, unlike what we have had in the past. 

My belief from what I have read is that the Town of White Springs has never had a 501 (c) 3 and that includes holding a Hope Food Bank program for those in need. It wasn’t handled like other charities and I believe half of it went to an adult living facility.  The fact is the Town did not have a 501 (c) 3.  So any money coming in, even if it was donations to the Fire Department was taken by the Town and sales tax was calculated. That meant the Town kept the Firefighter’s donations under the General Fund making everything difficult to budget for the Fire Department.

 

Purchases of firefighting and rescue service equipment and supplies by the volunteer fire department are exempt.

In accordance with Section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code a Donor may deduct a charitable contribution made to or for the use of a political subdivision of a State of the United States, exclusively for public purposes

In other words donations to volunteer fire companies are deductible as charitable contributions on the donor’s federal income tax return, but only if made for exclusively public purposes

 

Also a volunteer fire company or similar organization may be exempt as a social welfare organization if its members are actively engaged in fire fighting and similar disaster as­sistance, whether it actually owns the fire fight­ing equipment, and whether it provides any assistance for its members, such as death and medical benefits in case of injury to them.

When Helen Miller resigned as mayor, a separate bank account with First Federal should have been opened for the Fire Department as it was years ago with Chief Peeler.  All Donations and money from Hamilton County should go in that bank account and handled specifically by the fire department.  Then there should be no tax on any donations because these donations are services in the public interest.  It’s time the Town allowed the volunteer Fire Department to operate on its own merits because our staff and council has no idea what they are doing.

If an organization does not have an inde­pendent social purpose, such as providing rec­reational facilities for members, it may be exempt under section 501(c)(3).

 

Purchases of firefighting and rescue service equipment and supplies by the volunteer fire department are exempt.

Donations to volunteer fire companies are deductible as charitable contributions on the donor’s federal income tax return, but only if made for exclusively public purposes

A volunteer fire company or similar organization may be exempt as a social welfare organization if its members are actively engaged in fire fighting and similar disaster as­sistance, whether it actually owns the fire fight­ing equipment, and whether it provides any assistance for its members, such as death and medical benefits in case of injury to them. And this is what WSFR does.

If an organization does not have an inde­pendent social purpose, such as providing rec­reational facilities for members, it may be exempt under section 501(c)(3).

In Florida, each sale, admission, storage, or rental in Florida is taxable, unless the transaction is exempt. Sales tax is added to the price of taxable goods or services and collected from the purchaser at the time of sale. Florida’s general state sales tax rate is 6% with the following exceptions: 4% on amusement machine receipts, 5.5% on the lease or license of commercial real property, and 6.95% on electricity.  This of course should not apply to a Fire Department.

Use Tax is required but our Fire Department is not charging for services so no sales tax should be held.  It is different where there are concessions by the Recreation Department at the Ballfield.  And even if the Fire department provides free items to children or adults like hot dogs, any donations taken should be just that, donations and should not be taxed.  You will see churches frequently state donations accepted but that does not stop someone who does not provide a donation from being served.

Use tax is due on the use or consumption of taxable goods or services when sales tax was not paid at the time of purchase. For example:

  • If you buy a taxable item in Florida and did not pay sales tax, you owe use tax.
  • If you buy an item tax exempt intending to resell it, and then use the item in your business or for personal use, you owe use tax.
  • If you buy a taxable item outside Florida and bring it into (or have it delivered into) Florida, and you did not pay sales tax on the item, you owe use tax.

 

Currently because the Town does not provide money of any sort to our fire department, the Fire Department Chief Pittman and Lieutenant Brazil have been servicing the Fire equipment, as well as buying parts out of their own income as well as supplies.  This is not right and someone needs to do something about this because our Council and Staff and especially our Town Manager hasn’t a clue about how to run a town and this is totally unfair to our fire department.