Reps. Molinaro and Kuster Introduce Volunteer Firefighter Tax Deduction Bill

Last week Rep. Marc Molinaro (R-NY) and Ann Kuster (D-NH) introduced H.R. 3104, the Helping Our Heroes Act. This bill would establish an “above the line” tax deduction for the time volunteer firefighters donate to their communities.

Specifically, the Helping Our Heroes Act allows volunteer emergency responders, including firefighters, ambulance services, civil air patrol, and search and rescue services, to treat each hour of service or training as a $20 charitable contribution for the purpose of a tax deduction. This deduction would be available for up to 300 hours per year. Additionally, this deduction would be an above the line deduction, meaning that even those who don’t normally itemize their tax returns would still be eligible for this deduction.

Regarding this bill’s introduction, National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) chair Steve Hirsch said, “The NVFC thanks Rep. Molinaro for his leadership in introducing the Helping Our Heroes Act. Many volunteer fire departments struggle to recruit and retain firefighters. This can be attributed to a number of factors, including the COVID 19 pandemic and increased mental and physical pressures due to a significant rise in call volumes. Between 2010 and 2020 the number of volunteer firefighters in the United States dropped by 12%. The ’above the line’ tax deduction created by this important legislation would serve as a key incentive to recruit and retain volunteers and reverse this trend.”

The NVFC looks forward to working with Reps. Molinaro and Kuster to advance this important bill.