Certain volunteer firefighters qualify for state tax credits

Published 4:10 pm Friday, May 6, 2022

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By JOYANNA LOVE | Managing Editor

Fire and rescue departments received their annual funding from the state and some additional good news during the Chilton County Volunteer Firefighters Association meeting on May 5.

Rep. Russell Bedsole (District 49) announced that volunteer firefighters with certain training will be eligible for a state income tax credit beginning Jan. 1, 2023 through 2027.

Bedsole said he sponsored the bill in the House.

“Senator April Weaver … helped us tremendously in the senate to get the support, but I can say in general your Alabama Legislature really appreciates and understands what the volunteers do for us all across our state,” he said.

The bill was passed the House and the Senate in April to become Act. No 2022-298.

Firefighter I certification through the Alabama Fire College and 30 hours of annual training with the fire department are the minimum requirements for a $300 tax credit. Those with Firefighter II certification or a licensed Advanced EMT or EMT-Paramedic and 30 hours of annual training with the fire or rescue department would be eligible for a $600 state income tax credit.

Bedsole said submitting a form from the revenue service is required.

The hope is that these state tax income credit will help departments keep and recruit volunteers.

“We have to do things to recruit and retain our volunteer fire departments in our rural areas because there is absolutely no way that we as a state could pay for people to provide the service to the communities at the level you all provide,” Weaver said. “Thank you for all that you do.”

The association discussed training options to help members get certified.

On behalf of the state representatives and senators for Chilton County, Bedsole and Senator April Weaver presented checks and a letter from Gov. Kay Ivey thanking the department for service to each of the departments present.

“I know what a valuable service all of our volunteers provide, especially our rural parts, in communities,” Bedsole said.

Weaver reminded the departments that if they have not received the American Rescue Plan Act funding yet she could assist them.

“We want to be sure you get that money because we know $10,000 is very significant to the budget of a volunteer fire department,” Weaver said.