Short proposes tax incentives for volunteer firefighters

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Representative John Short submitted House Bill 319 to the General Assembly of the Commonwealth, proposing a income tax deduction for volunteer firefighters.

Under the bill, volunteer firefighters will get a $500 tax credit for up to five years. The bill gives firefighters five years to become certified, a process that usually takes three to five years.

Once the firefighters are certified, they will be eligible for a $1,000 tax credit as long as they stay active within their respective fire departments.

If a firefighter is not certified after the allotted five years, he/she will be ineligible for the tax credit.

The fiscal impact of the bill will be $875,000.

Representative Short said, “If your house is burning down, you want someone who knows what there doing. Getting them certified – that’s the main thing.”

Short said in larger cities, firefighting is a paid position, but in small communities like Magoffin, it is volunteer-based.

“There’s not a paid firefighter in the 92nd District,” Short said. “The main reason I came up with this is I wanted to find a way to pay Magoffin back for sticking by me.”

Firefighter certification is obtained through training hours and is completely free.