Volunteer fire and emergency services workers will receive a $100 tax credit for active service under a provision that was included in the recently passed state budget, according to Sen. Lisa Baker (R-Luzerne).
Baker, who chairs the Senate Veterans and Emergency Preparedness Committee, successfully secured $4.5 million in funding for the 2008 pilot tax credit program The provision, passed as part of the Fiscal Year 2008-09 budget, provides a $100 credit to volunteer fire and emergency medical service workers for the 2008 tax year.
“The ranks of our volunteer fire and EMS personnel have been diminishing,” Baker said. “Our first responders said one of the best incentives we can offer is tax credits,” Baker said. “Today’s action by the Senate answers that call and helps to secure the future of our volunteer fire and EMS companies.”
Earlier this year, the Senate unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Baker that would provide tax credits and other incentives to help volunteer companies recruit and retain members. One of the bills, which is awaiting consideration and concurrence in the House, will make the personal tax credit permanent, and expand it to $500 per person over five years.
“The importance of maintaining Pennsylvania’s volunteer emergency service organizations can be made in terms of both public safety, and dollars and cents. If we continue to lose our volunteers, the added taxpayer cost will exceed $6 billion annually,” Baker added.
Contact: Brian Grove