Pa. panel OKs sales tax break for firefighters

HARRISBURG, Pa. (WHTM) – Pennsylvania firefighters wouldn’t have to pay sales tax on equipment they buy with their own money under legislation headed to the state Senate.

The Finance Committee on Wednesday unanimously approved Senate Bill 594. The measure would exempt firefighters from paying the tax on protective equipment and communications equipment.

Senator Pat Stefano (R-Fayette/Somerset/Westmoreland) said the cost of a firefighter’s protective equipment can cost them up to $2,500. He said according to recent statistics, more than 51,000 firefighters in the state spend personal funds on equipment.

“Firefighters who put their lives on the line as volunteers and pay for their own supplies, deserve this exemption on supplies that they need to do their jobs safely and effectively,” Stefano said in a statement. “It is no wonder that retention rates are going down because volunteers have to spend so much money out of pocket.”

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