Legislation continues tax incentives for firefighters & emergency responders


June 27th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

WASHINGTON, DC – Iowa Congressman Tom Latham last week joined a bipartisan group of lawmakers to introduce legislation to continue federal tax benefits for volunteer firefighters and other emergency responders.

The legislation, the Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Act (H.R. 2353), extends tax exemptions on benefits provided by state and local government entities to volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel until 2015 and increases the annual cap to $600.

“Our community volunteer firefighters and emergency responders are the people we all look to for help and safety in times of crisis,” Congressman Latham said. “This legislation is a common-sense way to encourage the important work of our community first responders, and I’m proud to work with my colleagues to help these selfless Americans.”

Congress originally approved tax exemptions for certain benefits (up to $360 per year) for volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel in 2007, but the provision expired last year. The benefit protections have helped local governments attract and retain volunteer first responders.

Congressman Latham joined Rep. John Larson (D-CT), Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Rep. Dave Reichert (R-WA) as original co-sponsors on the legislation.