Volunteers to get tax deduction

July 2, 2007
Reported by Associated Press

Recreation department volunteers and volunteer firefighters will be entitled to a 500 dollar tax deduction on state income tax forms if Governor Kathleen Blanco signs into law a bill by Representative Charmaine Marchand of New Orleans.

In the final minutes of the session which ended last week, senators approved a compromise version of House Bill 949 on a 39-to-nothing vote and House members passed it 86-to-one.

The bill started out to grant a 200 dollar tax credit to the firefighters and recreation department volunteers, but that was changed in the Senate to a $500 tax deduction, which would cost the state less.

The bill, which would go into effect for the 2007 tax year if Blanco signs it, requires a recreation department volunteer to give at least 30 hours of time each year to a public recreation department.

Volunteer firefighters would have to take 24 hours of continuing education each year to qualify and must be a member of the Louisiana State Firemen's Association or on the roster of the state fire marshal's volunteer fireman's insurance program.