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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: December 8, 2014 09:55 AM
From: Senator Matt Smith
To: All Senate members
Subject: Sales and Use Tax Exemption for the Purchase of Firefighting Equipment
In the near future, I plan to re-introduce SB 1049 of the 2013-2014 session. This legislation would amend the tax reform code to exclude accessory, communications, and protective equipment used by firefighters, purchased out of personal funds by firefighters, from the sales and use tax. At the time of purchase, firefighters would be required to present identification which displays their status as a firefighter in order to receive the exemption.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), turnout gear or bunker gear is the protective coat and trousers worn by a firefighter for interior structural firefighting. Typically, a set of this gear can cost $1,500.00 to $2,500.00. Additionally, it is important to note that firefighters are required by the NFPA to retire turnout gear ten years after the date of manufacture. Due to the frequency and cost of purchasing turnout gear, this legislation could save our firefighters hundreds of dollars in protective equipment, alone. Rescue and communications equipment purchased by firefighters would also be excluded from the sales and use tax.

It goes without saying that our firefighters, more often than not volunteers, provide an invaluable resource to our communities; therefore, I firmly believe the legislature should do everything in its power to assist in making their jobs easier and more affordable.

Prior co-sponsors include Rafferty, Yudichak, Brewster, Tartaglione, Kasunic, Waugh, Fontana, Erickson, Greenleaf, Alloway, Wozniak, Vulakovich, Hughes, Baker, Costa, Solobay, Stack and Boscola.

Please join me in supporting our firefighters by co-sponsoring this important legislation. If you have questions about the legislation, please contact my office at 717-787-5839.

Introduced as SB707