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house Bill H.R. 606

When a Police Officer or Firefighter Dies in the Line of Duty, Should Their Families get Tax-Free Benefits?

Argument in favor

This program would ensure that the families of public safety officers who died protecting their communities receive all the benefits they're entitled to. They lost their loved ones to keep the public safe; the public needs to give something back.

Cary's Opinion
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05/12/2015
Tax free State Based Survivor benefits makes common sense when Federal survivor benefits are already tax free.
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05/12/2015
Without even venturing into the fact that these honorable men and women deserve such respect and dignity that this bill gives, the families of slain officers are now most likely without a "bread-winner," meaning that no one is making an income. This bill will alleviate such a burden on the wives and husbands of slain heroes, as is fit to give honor to their memories.
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William's Opinion
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05/16/2015
When your hose is broken into, or you get mugged on the street, or suffer a car-jacking, call your local drug dealer and have him help you.
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Argument opposed

Firefighters and police officers depend on taxes for their tools and salaries. Giving a tax break to the families of those who die in the line of service hurts funding for living police officers, firefighters, and other public safety officials.

Joey's Opinion
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05/12/2015
Why just police and firefighters? Why not other public servants? If it's an incentive for a dangerous job, the we should exclude police, who are way down the list on liekly to die on the job. Farming, fishing, ranching, and mining are all way nore deadly per 100,000 people.
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Taret's Opinion
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05/12/2015
This should not be for life. I know this sounds incredibly mean but there are already death benefits for this. I hope no family has to face the death of a loved one in the line of duty but this is way too much additional money that they're already getting from previous "benefits" they're eligible for.
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Mart's Opinion
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05/12/2015
Should teachers, firemen, soldiers. We treat our vets like garbage and now you want to add more?
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What is House Bill H.R. 606?

When a police officer or firefighter dies in the line of duty, their families receive monetary benefits from federal and state governments to honor the public service of those who died. This bill would make it so that that all of those payments to families cannot be subjected to federal income tax. 

Survivor benefits for federal law enforcement officers are currently not subject to federal income tax, but there is some ambiguity about the treatment of these benefits for similar state-based programs.

Impact

The families of public safety officers that have died in the line of duty, state governments, government agencies that depend on taxes, taxpayers.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 606

A CBO estimate is unavailable.

More Information

Of Note: Currently, under the Public Safety Officers Benefits Program, the families of officers killed in the line of duty receive $333,604. Additional survivor benefits from state governments vary from state to state


In Depth: This bill does have bipartisan support but, as one might expect from a bill that provides tax cuts, it skews Republican. Of the its 25 cosponsors, 19 are Republicans and 6 are Democrats. An identical version of the bill has been introduced in the Senate, sponsored by Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT).

This bill amends the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968, which covers everything from gun laws to wiretaps.


Media:


Summary by James Helmsworth
(Photo Credit: MK Wyman)  

AKA

Don't Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act

Official Title

To amend the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 to exclude certain compensation received by public safety officers and their dependents from gross income.

bill Progress


  • EnactedMay 22nd, 2015
    The President signed this bill into law
  • The senate Passed May 14th, 2015
    Passed by Voice Vote
  • The house Passed May 12th, 2015
    Roll Call Vote 413 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Committee on Ways and Means
    IntroducedJanuary 28th, 2015

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    Tax free State Based Survivor benefits makes common sense when Federal survivor benefits are already tax free.
    Like (13)
    Follow
    Share
    Why just police and firefighters? Why not other public servants? If it's an incentive for a dangerous job, the we should exclude police, who are way down the list on liekly to die on the job. Farming, fishing, ranching, and mining are all way nore deadly per 100,000 people.
    Like (6)
    Follow
    Share
    Should teachers, firemen, soldiers. We treat our vets like garbage and now you want to add more?
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    This should not be for life. I know this sounds incredibly mean but there are already death benefits for this. I hope no family has to face the death of a loved one in the line of duty but this is way too much additional money that they're already getting from previous "benefits" they're eligible for.
    Like (3)
    Follow
    Share
    Without even venturing into the fact that these honorable men and women deserve such respect and dignity that this bill gives, the families of slain officers are now most likely without a "bread-winner," meaning that no one is making an income. This bill will alleviate such a burden on the wives and husbands of slain heroes, as is fit to give honor to their memories.
    Like (2)
    Follow
    Share
    You mean, for life, or for a set period? No, unless we are willing to extend the same benefits to the families of all emergency responders, as well as deceased military who died in the line of duty. Uh, I see the price tag escalating and, to be frank, there are other ways of recognition for our heroes and their families.
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    When your hose is broken into, or you get mugged on the street, or suffer a car-jacking, call your local drug dealer and have him help you.
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    giving money to people because they chose to go into life threatening occupations? sorry that I actual value my life to its fullest...
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    These brave men and woman gave up their lives to protect us. We should protect their families
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    Too many bad apples. In addition, they have pension benefits and the opportunity to buy life insurance just like everyone else. I wouldn't be opposed to raises and two man patrols and community outreach programs.
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    There are other occupations where people die in the line of duty, and unless they get tax benefits as well, I do not support this bill.
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    Police officers and fire fighters are often the main or sole bread earner for their families and their loss places a great financial burden on surviving family members. Making death benefits tax-free helps these families tremendously while taking a mere drop from the bucket that is the public coffer.
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    My father is in the military, and I know several police officers. Those men giving the last sacrifice can at least be compensated by knowing their families will be financially stable after they are gone.
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    I hate to sound crass, but don't families already get a death benefit if a loved one dies in the line of duty? I'm not sure why they should get tax relief also, since taxes paid for their jobs when they were serving
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    Seems like the right thing to do.
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    The tax loss is not significant enough to justify the line of duty death the survivors have to endure. Secondly, the scrutiny these people are put through by the media and court of public opinion makes this easy to defend
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    This is a no brainier. They have sacrificed either their life or their health for the protection of the average citizen and that deserves some special treatment.
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    I'm a police officer
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    This is a tough one. Many people get killed doing good things but you can carry it so far. Everything costs money
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    They already have significant protections and benefits.
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