vol firefighters 031822BELLEVILLE – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) joined local community leaders to highlight a measure that would help recruit more volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel by providing an income tax credit at a press conference Friday.

“People rely on first responders when they are in a crisis,” Belt said. “Providing an incentive for volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel to encourage them to stay longer ensures that the fire departments have sufficient resources and residents know that emergency responders can act quickly in an emergency.” 

Belt, alongside Representative Katie Stuart, Chief Tom Elliff of the Signal Hill Fire Department and fire department officials, outlined a measure that would incentivize more long-term volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel.

Senate Bill 3027 would provide a $500 income tax credit for volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel who are a member or work for a fire department or fire protection district for at least nine months and do not receive more than $10,000 for their volunteer services during the taxable year. Current law does not provide a tax credit. Other states that offer a similar credit include New York, Iowa and Maryland.

The proposed tax credit cannot reduce a taxpayer’s liability to less than zero. If the proposed tax credit exceeds the tax liability for the year, the excess may be applied within the next five taxable years. The credit would be applied to the earliest tax year in which there is a tax liability. If there are credits for more than one year, the earlier credit would be applied first.

Senate Bill 3027 passed the Senate 51-0 and awaits further consideration in the House.

People can watch a recording of the press conference on Senator Belt’s Facebook.