HARRISBURG – The Senate Finance Committee approved legislation today that would allow volunteer fire companies to keep more of the money they bring in during fundraisers, according to the bill’s sponsor, Senator Scott Martin (R-13).
Senate Bill 83 would exempt volunteer fire companies from paying sales tax on food and beverages sold during fundraising events, such as chicken barbeques and pancake breakfasts.
Under current law, volunteer fire companies pay the sales tax on all sales during these events. Exempting these events from the sales tax would mirror the approach the state takes toward similar fundraising efforts, such as school sports booster clubs.
“It is a constant battle for volunteer fire companies to raise enough money to get the equipment and training they need to respond to emergencies,” Martin said. “Exempting volunteer fire companies from paying the sales tax on these kinds of fundraisers would provide more time and money for these organizations to focus on protecting our communities.”
Martin said the legislation is a priority because the cost of firefighting equipment and training continues to rise, while the number of volunteers continues to decline. On average, the cost of equipment increases by 4.5 percent every year. A cancer preemption law passed in 2011 also placed additional financial burdens on fire companies.
The bill was sent to the full Senate for consideration.
CONTACT: Terry Trego (717) 787-6535