Congress looks at tax break for volunteer responders
The bill would help bolster staffing by allowing them to claim a portion of the value of the services they donate each year as a charitable donation
WASHINGTON — Congressman Dave Loebsack is pushing to help rural fire departments.
The Democrat joined Republican Congressman David B. McKinley out of West Virginia in introducing legislation to create a tax deduction for volunteer first responders in the hopes that it will help volunteer fire departments and other public safety organizations recruit and retain volunteers.
"I’d like to thank Representatives McKinley and Loebsack for introducing this important legislation," Chief Philip C. Stittleburg, Chairman of the National Volunteer Fire Council, said in a release. "The services donated by volunteer emergency response personnel are valued at more than $140 billion annually and the average responder donates services worth more than $18,000 each year. At the same time, local agencies are increasingly struggling to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters and EMTs. This common sense bill would help bolster staffing in volunteer public safety agencies by allowing responders to claim a portion of the value of the services they donate each year as a charitable donation."