Thread: Tax Brakes for FF's
06-18-2006, 09:22 PM #1firefighter7160Firehouse.com Guest
Tax Brakes for FF's
Do any state have tax brakes for FF's. We are trying to get one of 2 tax brakes passed in are state. One for the state tax, and another for property tax's.
06-18-2006, 09:56 PM #2
South Carolina has a $3000 state tax deduction as an incentive for volunteer firefighters and rescue squad members. There is a performance-based points system in place to ensure that only members who are active with their department receive the benefit. Here is more information: http://www.nvfc.org/leg/leginfo_sc.htmlI can't believe they actually pay me to do this!!!
One friend noted yesterday that a fire officer only carries a flashlight, sometimes prompting grumbling from firefighters who have to lug tools and hoses.
"The old saying is you never know how heavy that flashlight can become," the friend said.
-from a tragic story posted on firefighterclosecalls.com
06-18-2006, 11:16 PM #3
- Join Date
- May 2005
I prefer Bendix brakes on my truck.
06-19-2006, 09:20 AM #4Originally Posted by WebFire"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
06-19-2006, 11:08 AM #5
you mean like this?I am a highly trained professional and can find my :: expletive deleted:: with either hand in various light conditions.
06-19-2006, 01:54 PM #6
- Join Date
- Oct 2005
Well, I think taxing brakes would be a good incentive to slow down and not drive like fools
ON A SERIOUS NOTE...
Tax Breaks, etc are nothing more than band-aids.
My State (CT) started with allowing local "LOSAP" "Pension Plans" except legally, they're not pension plans, and in practice are just another thing local governments tend to underfund...since they get hit with a bunch of older members 5 years or so in who start collecting, then they defer funding for those who won't be collecting for another 20 or 30.
I guess a very "nice thank you" for senior members (costs my town about $35k/year, underfunded so each year the unfunded obligation grows) for no appreciable benefit to the community. After the short grandfathering period, participation returned to previous levels, and some older members already collect their $300/month check (30 years x $10 per year of service)
Indeed, LOSAPs are one of the worse possible municipal spending.
Let's take a half-step back to how to finance major purchases. A community could save hundreds of thousands of dollars over the course of years to buy a fire truck...or they could buy now by financing it and pay over time. While the second option is somewhat more expensive, those paying the taxes are receiving it's benefits. Under the savings route, those paying taxes may never see the benefit of their money -- they move to FL, whoever buys there house benefits from the fire truck the previous owner's taxes paid for.
A LOSAP is the opposite -- if underfunded, like any number of state and municipal pension funds are, tomorrow's taxpayers are paying for the services provided to the community today.
Within reason, those paying should be the ones to receive the benefits of the spending.
Tax breaks in that respect are better because at least they impact current taxpayers, who receive the benefits of fire protection.
Their are some issues involved. I believe the federal income tax implications of these programs is still unclear -- in some circumstances, IRS has ruled the tax breaks as taxable (Hey, I got $200 off my town taxes for my truck...and have to pay $75 of that to the Feds as income!).
In some circumstances, it's pretty clear it has an impact that reduces the overall value, although I suppose no worse than any other earnings -- for instance, I can deduct my real estate and personal property taxes (in CT, vehicles are taxed on value, and thus deductible) from my Federal returns. Say my town gave me a $1000 tax break -- in my pocket, that's only about $720 dollars. Because that $1000 in taxes reduced my Income Tax liability by about $280. Not a big deal, just remember not spend the whole amount you "save"
What I find is these schemes based on points and participation, etc bring out people from the woodwork who like to manipulate the system for their own gain. The people who would shoulder the bulk of the work for free continue to shoulder the bulk of the work. Any incentives like that are kind of taken by them as "Oh gee, that's nice..." and really doesn't make one iota of difference to the organization after the initial honeymoon period is over...except you may find yourself with some stragglers you kind of wish would self-select themselves out who stick around for the money that was the only real incentive they ever had.
As far as I'm concerned, if you're going to pay people, pay 'em. Either a stipend, or directly pay-per-call. Roll, get yer $10 or whatever, and don't play games with it. Also a nice way to start the transition to having full-time staff.
There is only one incentive that works long term in the end --
People must feel their time is being wisely spent.
That means the organization and their peers must respect them, and they must respect the organization and their peers.
And I'm not talking about what often becomes a political show of false respect of giving out thank yous like candy, appreciation dinners, and plaques for doing an ordinary thing -- not handed out because of a genuine belief or necessarily even handed out for genuinely deserving special recognition, but because somewhere someone decided it would be good for moral if every order included please and thank you.
Respect comes from knowing what you're doing, doing it, and knowing you're doing a good job doing it.
Have a quality organization that when tones drop for a fire or an MVA, and everything clicks and the incident runs like a well oiled machine -- that boosts your company's morale and provides far more incentive to participate that tax breaks, small paid-on-call systems, beer drinking, and company picnics never can. If you can achieve that firing-on-all-cylinders feeling so people know when stuff is hitting the fan their contribution will be important to the outcome, the espirit de corps it instills helps to overcome the BS call fatique that is almost inevitable in any moderately or more busy volunteer fire company. It's not an easy formula to get right, but when you do, amazing things happen.
Last edited by Dalmatian190; 06-19-2006 at 01:59 PM.
06-19-2006, 04:46 PM #7
- Join Date
- Dec 2004
- Cleveland, OK
Oklahoma has tax breaks for vollies. They have to take so many of hours of training per year and it is a $200 tax break.
06-19-2006, 05:36 PM #8
- Join Date
- Mar 2006
- Voorheesville, NY
NY just passed a $200 income credit, Counties are allowed to give a 10% property Tax break as well.Give our thoughts and prayers for our brothers. May we honor them by learning how to keep others safe while we remember their dedication, sacrifices and heroic efforts...
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