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Sunday, April 12, 2020

HEROES Congressional Act Brings Tax Relief to Delta County's First Responders

Delta County, and other locations, first responders may be soon eligible for four months of federal tax relief. Emergency Responders Overcome Emergency Situations (HEROES) Act of 2020 was introduced recently to Congress by Michigan Congressman Bill Huizenga . Its a little more like (HEROES) From the "Hot Zone" Act as it seeks to offer four months of Federal Tax relief for first responders in counties with at least one positive COVID-19 Case.

Delta County had 9 confirmed cases and 1 death from COVID according to The Daily News . That makes them eligible. If passes it will include Escanaba & Gladstone Public Safety, Delta County Sheriffs Office, Hospital/Medical Staff, and Michigan State Police working and receiving wages in the county. I may have missed a couple departments.

The average salary of a first responder is approximately 34K with slight adjustments depending on the type of job and location (First Responder Salary)

These heroes do this type of work for a labor of love and take all types of risks others would not even think about. Everyday they they deal with death, injury, criminals and crisis situations. If it was about the money they might make more working almost anywhere else. Helping them is helping ourselves.

 A little tax reduction boost tells them we appreciated their risks.

While official COVID-19 infection numbers are hard to come by and are unlikely to be accurate until the crisis is over we can say first responders are at substantially  higher risk. The nature of the job simply puts them in close contact with others and it is nearly impossible to maintain 6 feet of distance.

You may want to read an article by WDET where Detroit Fire Captain Frank Williams recently passed away and over a 100 (if not much more) have tested positive with COVID-19 (Detroit First Responder Article). These men and women are rushing into a battle with nothing more than good heart and we should ponder that great responsibility for a moment. 😷👮

Who is covered by the Act?

...is a physician (as defined in section 13 1861(r)(1) of the Social Security Act), nurse, pharmacist, law enforcement officer, corrections officer, firefighter, emergency medical technician, or paramedic.

What Areas are Eligible?

Counties that have at least one confirmed case of COVID-19, or provides services in a licensed medical or care facility which is located in such a county.

What Dates?

Federal tax relief for February 15, 2020, and ending on June 15, 2020.

Where is It Now? Congressional House Ways and Means Committee.

You may read the act ......
https://huizenga.house.gov/uploadedfiles/heroes_act_bill_text.pdf

I'm a big advocate of bi-partisan legislation because it typically is more aligned to national needs. Not always, but when both major parties work together, things seem to work out for the best. In this case, most people have respect for first responders that are doing the right thing and have the welfare of the American people in mind. They don't make a lot of money and anything we can do to help them while they are risking their lives is important.

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