Senator Belt


SPRINGFIELD – State Senator Christopher Belt (D-Swansea) joined state legislators and fire officials to highlight a measure that would help recruit more volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel by providing an income tax credit at a press conference Wednesday.

“When your house catches on fire or you get in a car accident, you rely on first responders for assistance and protection,” Belt said. “Many communities are using paid-on-call firefighters who respond from home and receive just a small stipend or maybe minimum wage.”

Belt, alongside Representative Lance Yednock (D-Ottawa), representatives from the Illinois Firefighters Association and members of the General Assembly 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.

“It’s time we work to gain and retain volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel,” Belt said.

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 Blue Room Stream.