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Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
April 3, 2002
Introduced by Reps. Perry, Whatley, Knotts, Coates and D.C. Smith
S. Printed 4/3/02--H.
Read the first time April 11, 2001.
To whom was referred a Bill (H. 3921) to amend Section 12-6-1140, Code of Laws of South Carolina, 1976, relating to the state income tax deduction allowed volunteer firefighter and rescue squad members, etc., respectfully
That they have duly and carefully considered the same and recommend that the same do pass:
ROBERT W. HARRELL, JR. for Committee.
REVENUE IMPACT 1/
This bill is expected to reduce general fund individual income tax revenue by an estimated $174,000 in FY 2001-02.
This bill would amend Section 12-6-1140(10) by allowing an individual serving as a volunteer member of a Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Response Team a $3,000 individual income tax deduction, if not otherwise eligible for this exemption. Currently, Section 12-6-1140(10) allows a $3,000 individual income tax deduction for each volunteer firefighter or rescue squad member. Additionally, Section 12-6-1140(6) allows a subsistence allowance of five dollars a day for each federal, state, and local law enforcement officer in South Carolina, as well as each full-time firefighter and emergency medical service personnel. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor has developed national standards for hazardous waste operations and emergency response training. According to OSHA regulations, certified workers must successfully complete 40 hours of initial course training, and at least three days of actual field experience under a trained, experienced supervisor. An additional eight hours of annual refresher training is required for all regular site workers and managers. According to a representative of the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, Division of the State Fire Academy, there are currently no state regulations that mandate the certification of HAZMAT workers in the state. The State Fire Academy offers training programs, but does not issue certifications. The fire chief in each fire district is responsible for ensuring that some firefighters voluntarily complete the necessary coursework and training needed to meet the national standard. The trainee would also be required to meet a performance-based point system established by the State Fire Marshal and certified by the county emergency services director to be eligible for the income tax deduction. Volunteer HAZMAT workers include firefighters and rescue squad members, but could also be, but not limited to, police officers, national guardsmen, military personnel, private company response personnel, hospital workers, and public works employees. According to a senior representative of the S.C. Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, Division of the State Fire Academy, the Fire Academy trains an estimated 1,000 individuals statewide in various levels of hazardous waste operations and disposal. Multiplying 1,000 HAZMAT Response Team members by a $3,000 income tax deduction and applying an average tax rate of 5.8 percent would reduce general fund individual income tax revenue by an estimated $174,000 in FY 2001-02. This individual income tax deduction would apply to taxable years beginning after 2000.
William C. Gillespie
Board of Economic Advisors
1/ This statement meets the requirement of Section 2-7-71 for a state revenue impact, Section 2-7-76 for a local revenue impact, and Section 6-1-85(B) for an estimate of the shift in local property tax incidence.
TO AMEND SECTION 12-6-1140, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO THE STATE INCOME TAX DEDUCTION ALLOWED VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTER AND RESCUE SQUAD MEMBERS, SO AS TO EXTEND THE DEDUCTION TO A VOLUNTEER MEMBER OF A HAZARDOUS MATERIALS (HAZMAT) RESPONSE TEAM AND TO DELETE OBSOLETE PROVISIONS, AND TO AMEND SECTION 23-9-190, RELATING TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A PERFORMANCE-BASED POINT SYSTEM TO DETERMINE ELIGIBILITY FOR THE STATE INCOME TAX DEDUCTION ALLOWED VOLUNTEER FIREFIGHTERS AND RESCUE SQUAD WORKERS, SO AS TO EXTEND THIS POINT SYSTEM TO VOLUNTEER HAZMAT TEAM MEMBERS.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 12-6-1140(10) of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
three hundred dollars for taxable year 1999 and three thousand dollars for taxable year 2000 for a volunteer firefighter, or rescue squad member, or volunteer member of a Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Response Team not otherwise eligible for this exemption. For taxable years after 2000, the Board of Economic Advisors annually shall estimate a maximum deduction that may be permitted under this section for a taxable year based on an individual income tax revenue loss of three million one hundred thousand dollars attributable to this deduction and shall certify that maximum deduction to the Department of Revenue and for the applicable taxable year, the maximum deduction amount must not exceed the lesser of the certified estimate or three thousand dollars. Only a volunteer earning a minimum number of points pursuant to Section 23-9-190 is eligible for this deduction."
SECTION 2. Section 23-9-190 of the 1976 Code, as added by Act 100 of 1999, is amended to read:
"Section 23-9-190. (A) The State Fire Marshal shall establish a performance-based point system for volunteer firefighters,
and volunteer rescue squad members, and volunteer members of a Hazardous Materials (HAZMAT) Response Team. Members receiving annually a minimum number of points set by the Fire Marshal are eligible for the deduction allowed pursuant to Section 12-6-1140. Points must be awarded for a year as follows:
(1) Participation in approved training, including:
(a) Certified interior firefighter;
(b) Emergency vehicle driver training;
(c) Pump operations;
(d) Incident command systems;
(e) Rural water supply;
(f) Automobile extrication;
(g) Certified instructor training;
(h) Certified inspector training;
( i) Certified public fire education training;
( j) Officer training
(k) HAZMAT operations;
( l) HAZMAT technician;
(m) HAZMAT specialist.
(2) Possessing a commercial or Class E drivers license;
(3) Participation in first aid/medical training such as:
(a) First responder;
(4) Participation in public fire education programs;
(5) Attendance at meetings;
(6) Station staffing; and
(7) Volunteer response.
(B) The Fire Marshal shall, in consultation with the South Carolina State Firemen's Association and in the case of volunteer HAZMAT Teams, county emergency services directors:
(1) Develop a standardized form and recordkeeping system and provide a master copy of all information and forms to each fire department,
and rescue squad, and HAZMAT Response Team in the State;
(2) Provide training to the various fire chiefs or rescue squad leaders and county emergency services directors on the use of the forms and the outline of the program;
(3) Advertise the availability of the program.
(C) The local fire chief/rescue squad leader and county emergency services director shall:
(1) Provide written records to each member by January 31 of the year following the applicable tax year that shows the points obtained by each member for the previous tax year;
(2) Maintain a copy of records for each member for at least seven years;
(3) Certify the report for each member.
(4) Provide to the Department of Revenue by January 31 of the year following the applicable tax year copies of the records forwarded to members pursuant to item (1) of this subsection. Each member's social security number must be included in the copies forwarded to the department."
SECTION 3. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor and applies for taxable years beginning after 2000.
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