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Heroes Earnings Assistance and Relief Tax Act of 2007

Location: Washington, DC

HEROES EARNINGS ASSISTANCE AND RELIEF TAX ACT OF 2007 -- (House of Representatives - November 06, 2007)


Mr. LARSON of Connecticut. Madam Speaker, I want to extend as well and compliment Chairman Rangel, Chairman McDermott, and especially Chairman Neal, for the timely manner in which they have handled very important legislation that addresses veterans, but specifically to Mr. Neal because it was not lost on him in this piece of legislation that we also needed to address an important segment of our society, our volunteer firefighters.

It wasn't lost on Mr. Neal that volunteer firefighters protect approximately 38 percent of America's population and more than 70 percent of our land. It wasn't lost on Mr. Neal that volunteer firefighters save taxpayers nearly $37 billion annually with their efforts.

Two-thirds of the 1.2 million firefighters in this country are in fact volunteers. More importantly, it wasn't lost on anyone in this body that it wasn't the FBI, the CIA or the Department of Defense, it was our front line defenders, first responders that were there at the World Trade Center, at the Pentagon and in the fields of Pennsylvania. It's to them, of course, that we owe this debt of gratitude.

It was lost, however, on the IRS that when States like mine in Connecticut moved to provide a rebate on their local property taxes, that they sought to tax it and make it ordinary income on behalf of these brave volunteers. This legislation corrects that. I want to commend the Mitchell brothers, both John and Billy, from South Windsor, Connecticut, John McAuliffe of Whethersfield, and Chief Phil Crombie, who are the genesis of this idea and concept and brought it to my attention.

Madam Speaker, I again thank Chairman Neal for making it all happen.


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