State representatives introduce bill to grant tax credits to volunteer first responders

They are there when we need them. Up to 75 volunteer firefighters and multiple fire departments were on the scene May 16 and into the early morning hours of May 17, 2016 of a fire in Middleport, Ohio. If the proposed bill is passed into law, volunteer firefighters, volunteer EMS and volunteer peace officers would receive a tax credit for their service to their communities. File photo by Carrie Gloeckner.

State representatives introduce bill to grant tax credits to volunteer first responders

COLUMBUS, Ohio – State Representatives Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) and Thomas Hall (R-Madison Twp.) today introduced legislation that would provide tax credits to volunteer firefighters, volunteer EMS personnel and volunteer peace officers.

“This legislation will bring much needed relief to some of the greatest Ohioans among us,” said Edwards. “They truly are the unsung heroes who encounter countless situations to secure the safety of our lives and property, and as volunteers, they do so without compensation.”

Based on participation rates and continuing of service, the bill will provide three tiers at which applicable individuals can receive a tax credit:

  • 1-5 years of service: $500/year
  • 6-10 years of service: $1,000/year
  • 11+ years of service: $2,000/year

Edwards and Hall mentioned the alarming trend around Ohio in a decrease in courageous men and women willing to step up to become volunteer firefighters/EMS and or peace officers. One of the many goals of this legislation is to reverse this trend increase the longevity of these volunteers by providing a refundable tax credit to the brave men and women.

“While the tax credits provided in this legislation would only be a small token of our appreciation for these volunteers’ sacrifices, the tax credits can do a long way to remove a heavy tax burden from them and their families,” concluded Hall. The bill now awaits referral to a House committee.