By BRENDAN KIRBY
More than 600 Washington County volunteer firefighters and rescue workers will owe a little less on their Maryland tax bill this year, thanks to a new state program designed to reward their volunteer work.
The Maryland tax credit, signed into law in May 1995, allows fire and rescue volunteers with at least six years of service to qualify for a $3,000 Tax Modification Credit on their state taxes, according to Jay Grimes, president of the Washington County Fire and Rescue Association. The tax credit takes effect this year.
The average firefighter will see a reduction ranging from about $200 to $300, he said.
"To a lot of people, that does mean something," he said.
This year, 637 county residents qualified, said Rick Hemphill, a member of the association's committee that is studying the issue.
Volunteers who earned at least 50 points were eligible for the break, Hemphill said. A point equals four hours completed in one of seven categories: training, drills, stand by, running on an alarm, collateral duties, meetings and being an elected or appointed official in a volunteer fire or rescue department.