MPs consider the introduction of tax exemption for volunteers and changes to legislation on local governance.
Changes to legislation on local governance
Draft bill # 6504 of January 5, 2022
Status: adopted in the first reading. MPs still have time to amend the bill.
Who is affected: community heads, community head deputies, local councilors, local government public servants, employees of local government executive support service, community members, and the Cabinet.
Summary of the bill:
- the following provisions will be excluded from the law:
- the Cabinet will no longer approve staff requirements defining the number of employees for local government bodies
- a secretary of a village council will not be allowed to hold the position of the executive committee secretary at the same time
- local councils will be granted the following powers:
- to appoint and dismiss community head deputies upon the request of the community head
- upon the request of a chief manager of the executive committee of a local council, to approve a list of local government employees with service duties
- to define the remuneration and performance bonus policies for a community head, his or her deputies, a secretary of the local council, and starostas
- upon the request of a community head, to approve for public servants in the local government, remuneration for other employees, and a provision on performance bonus policies for them
- community heads will appoint and dismiss a chief manager of the executive committee, deputy heads of offices, departments, and other executive bodies, and also employees of the executive support service
- raion and oblast councils will be granted the following additional powers:
- to define remuneration and performance bonus policies for the head of the council, his or her first deputy and deputy
- upon the request of the council, to approve remuneration rates for public servants in the local government, remuneration rates for other employees, and a provision on performance bonus policies for them
- chief managers will be granted the following powers:
- to organize preparations for the executive committee sessions and agendas of the committee, publish its draft resolutions
- to timely publish the decisions by the executive committee and properly notify people responsible for the implementation of these decisions, to oversee the implementation
- perform the duties of the service head in local government bodies
- a community head deputy will not be allowed also to be a member of the local council if he or she is also a member of the executive committee of this council. He or she will also have no right to hold any other paid offices or engage in other paid or entrepreneurial activity
- public servants in the local governments of Kyiv will not be allowed to be members of political parties.
What is right:
- depoliticization of local government public service. Clear rules on remuneration and performance bonus policies will ensure that public servants will receive their proper reward on their merit and will not be dependent on the whims of their superiors
- clear definition of the functions and powers of a chief officer of the executive committee.
What is wrong:
- the bill does not provide a clear distinction between officials elected and appointed for positions in local governments
- the part about minimum wages for local government public servants was excluded from the bill. This can result in significant disproportions in remuneration and guarantees for the employees. The main scientific and expert department of the Apparatus of the Verkhovna Rada points out this in its conclusion.
Alternative solution: before the second reading, MPs should include the provision on minimum wages for local government public servants and introduce a distinction for officials elected and appointed for their positions. Thus, there will be at least some guarantees of independence for political employees whose primary duties are maintaining operations and implementing the adopted decisions.
Additional information: the Association of cities of Ukraine and the dedicated parliamentary committee held a briefing announcing that they have a joint position on this bill, i.e. that it would have a positive effect on the development of local self-governance.
Simplified registration procedure and tax exemption for volunteers
Status: passed as laws. Await to be signed by the President.
Who is affected: volunteers, the Armed Forces of Ukraine, other military units, service members, and the State Tax Service.
Summary of the bills:
- the registration procedure for the Registry of Volunteers will be simplified. It will be enough to submit an application form (paper or online) to a territorial office of the State Tax Service:
- an application form has to include account details for bank accounts registered by the volunteer for charity purposes
- a tax identification number and serial number of the identity card
- charity donations gathered by people from the Registry of Volunteers after January 1 of the reporting year be exempted from taxation.
What is right:
- donations received by volunteers will not be taxable. All money will be used for helping the members of the service
- volunteers will be able to register in the Registry of Volunteers quickly via an online form.
What is wrong: if the registration procedure is simplified too much, it could be abused by dishonest citizens.
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