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Senate Co-Sponsorship Memoranda

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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2013 - 2014 Regular Session


Posted: March 13, 2014 11:36 AM
From: Senator Lisa Baker and Sen. Sean Wiley
To: All Senate members
Subject: Municipal Tax Credit for Volunteer Firefighters and Emergency Medical Service (EMS) Technicians

Please join us in co-sponsoring a bill that will give municipalities that levy an earned income tax the option to waive that tax for volunteer firefighters and volunteers at nonprofit emergency medical service (EMS) agencies.

This legislation was prompted by a joint hearing on firefighter and EMT retention and recruitment held last fall by the Senate Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committee and the Majority Policy Committee. Extending an earned income tax credit has been one of the solutions offered by firefighters and EMTs as a potential recruitment and retention tool for more than three decades.

Under the legislation, which amends Title 35 (Health and Safety), municipalities would have the power to set the amount of the tax credit and the guidelines of the program, to specify the number of calls to which a volunteer first responder answers, their level of training, the time expended and involvement in other events. Municipalities would not be required to participate in the program; it would be purely optional.

Thank you for considering this legislation, which is expected to be part of a package of incentives to bolster the rapidly declining ranks of our volunteer firefighters and EMTs.

Introduced as SB1342