SPRINGFIELD (AP) – In an effort to support first responders, State Senators Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) and Ram Villivalam (D-Chicago) are sponsoring new legislation to help volunteer firefighters and EMTs with expenses.
Senate Bill 3224 would provide a $500 tax credit for qualifying first responders when they file state income tax. As a credit (and not a deduction), the amount of taxes owed will decrease or increase potential refunds increase. Expenses incurred by volunteer firefighters and EMTs include medical and fire equipment, training, licensure and insurance.
The lawmakers hope, by reducing the cost of volunteering, it will help fire departments recruit new volunteers.