Senator Belt


SPRINGFIELD – A measure spearheaded by State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) that would help recruit more volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel by providing an income tax credit passed the Senate Wednesday.

“Many communities rely on volunteer fire departments when they are in a crisis,” Belt said. “These fire departments across Illinois are struggling with a shortage of firefighters and EMS personnel volunteers.”

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.

“Providing an incentive will encourage volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel to stay long-term,” Belt said. “It’s important that we address this shortage to ensure emergency responders have sufficient resources to respond quickly.”

Senate Bill 3027 passed the Senate and heads to the House of Representatives for further consideration.