Baker and Waugh Push Tax Credit Bills To Help Volunteer Firefighters and EMS Workers

Stressing the need to do more to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters and emergency responders, Senators Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne) and Mike Waugh (R-York) are working to provide tax credits to fire and emergency service volunteers and their employers. Their plan, which was introduced today, includes:

  • A $500 tax credit for active members of volunteer firefighting and emergency medical services organizations, as certified by the State Fire Commissioner or the Director of the Emergency Medical Services Office in the Department of Health.
  • A tuition reimbursement credit of 50 percent of tuition for each course credit. The credit would be paid directly to the college or university.
  • A $1,000 tax credit against an employer’s personal income tax for each volunteer fire and emergency services member employed. The credit would not exceed $5,000 per employer during a specific tax year.

“Volunteers miss time with their families, experience significant out-of-pocket expenses, and most importantly, risk their lives to keep our communities safe,” said Baker, who chairs the Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee. “We need to do everything we can to support them.”

Senator Waugh, who serves as co-chair of the Fire and Emergency Services Caucus, believes the tax credits are long-overdue saying, “Membership among these volunteer organizations has been declining for years – they need our help now!”

In 2004, a commission was established to make recommendations for improving the delivery of emergency services in Pennsylvania. To date, four of the twenty-three targeted areas have been addressed. Baker and Waugh said they are eager to see their plan passed and ready to tackle the remaining commission initiatives.

Contact: Brian Grove
(570) 675-3931

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