State Senators Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) and Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) are sponsoring new legislation to help volunteer firefighters and EMT’s with their expenses.
“Volunteer firefighters and EMT’s put their lives on the line for us with little or no pay of any kind, even though they have to pay equipment and training costs,” said Sen. Barickman. “This legislation will help offset some of their costs and hopefully make it easier to do their job, which is to protect all of us.”
Senate Bill 3224 creates a $500 tax credit that qualifying volunteer firefighters and EMT’s can claim when they file their Illinois income taxes. Because it is a credit and not a deduction, it will provide a direct reduction in the amount of taxes owed, or potentially even increase their tax refund.
"Volunteer EMS and fire services, like Hatzalah in my district, supplement and boost the critical work of our incredible firefighters throughout the entire state," said Senator Villivalam "This tax credit will enable these volunteer services to boost recruitment to ensure they are able to continue providing lifesaving, high quality assistance."
The lawmakers filed their bill to help volunteer firefighters and EMT’s pay for expenses that often includes things such as medical and fire equipment, training, licensure, and even insurance. They also hope that by reducing the financial burden of volunteering, the legislation can help local fire departments to recruit new volunteers to bolster their efforts at protecting the public.