Tax break sought for auxiliary police officers

The tax man is being urged to treat all emergency personnel equally

The tax man is being urged to treat all emergency personnel equally.

Vernon council unanimously voted Monday to write the federal government and ask that a tax credit available to volunteer firefighters and search and rescue members be extended to auxiliary police officers.

“It seems appropriate,” said Coun. Bob Spiers. “They get paid absolutely nothing.”

According to Spiers, auxiliary police officers fulfill a lot of duties that allow full-time RCMP officers to focus on more urgent matters.

“They do patrols on the ski slopes, they are out on the lake and they do ride-alongs Saturday night,” he said.

“With auxiliary officers, there is less requirement for communities to have full-time officers which is good for the bottom line.”

In February, the federal government announced that a tax credit will be available to search and rescue volunteers who perform at least 200 hours of eligible service during a year.

The credit provides up to $450 in tax savings for individuals involved in search and rescue.

“Our government recognizes their invaluable contributions, and the selfless role each volunteer plays,” said Kerry-Lynne Findlay, national revenue minister, at the time.

“We are pleased to recognize their community leadership and volunteerism through the search and rescue volunteers tax credit.”

The City of Vernon is also asking the provincial government to support a tax credit for auxiliary police officers.