Government Proposes Tax Credit for SAR, Firefighting Volunteers
Prince George, B.C. – The provincial government says it plans to introduce a new tax credit for B.C.’s volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers as part of its 2017 budget.
Minister of State for Emergency Preparedness Naomi Yamamoto and Finance Minister Michael de Jong today announced that, subject to legislative approval, thousands of volunteers throughout the province may be eligible for a $3,000 non-refundable tax credit, providing a benefit up to $151.80 each year.
“B.C.’s volunteer firefighters and search and rescue members play a critical role in the safety of British Columbians,” said Yamamoto. “(They) leave the comfort of home to rush out into often dangerous and unpredictable conditions, in every type of environment, to provide a beacon of hope to both those lost and to the families waiting at home. The tax credit announced today is a small token of thanks for their selfless service, and for the incredible contributions these men and women provide to their communities.”
The new tax credit will be available for volunteers who provide at least 200 hours of volunteer service to a volunteer fire department, an eligible search and rescue organization or a combination of both. The credit will be available for the 2017 tax year.
Combined with a similar federal credit, volunteer firefighters and search and rescue volunteers may be eligible for up to $601.80 in non-refundable credits each year.
On March 2, 2017, the Province of B.C. along with the British Columbia Search and Rescue Association, Provincial Emergency Program Air, and Royal Canadian Marine Search and Rescue will unveil a memorial for search and rescue volunteers in the province who have lost their lives in the line of duty, and to honour all those that serve. The monument will sit adjacent to existing memorials dedicated to fallen Law Enforcement officers, Fire Fighters, and Paramedics.