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Volunteer firefighters may get a tax break

February 22, 2001

Volunteer firefighters may get a tax break



By LAURA ERNDE / Staff Writer


ANNAPOLIS - Del. Robert A. McKee asked a Maryland House of Delegates committee Thursday to provide a tax incentive for volunteer firefighters in Washington County.

Even if the law passes the Maryland General Assembly, it will be up to the Washington County Commissioners to grant the tax break.

The Washington County delegation to the Maryland General Assembly modeled its proposal after a law passed last year for Cecil County firefighters.

"The road was already paved, it was just a matter of jumping on board," McKee said.

The proposal would allow the commissioners to reduce the personal property taxes of firefighters, fire police officers and emergency medical technicians.

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If all 757 volunteers in the county were exempt from property taxes, it would cost the county an estimated $425,000, according to the Maryland Department of Legislative Services.

But McKee said the commissioners could limit the tax credit however they wanted, McKee said.

For example, the commissioners could structure it to apply only to long-time volunteers or create a two-tiered system to give a larger break to those living in Smart Growth areas.

McKee testified at a hearing before the House Ways and Means Committee. No one testified in opposition.

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