Death and Taxes

Government officials in two states have called for changes to legislation to assist families of first responders who are killed in the line of duty. In Ohio, Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo has proposed a bill, introduced after coordination with Ohio Representatives Andrew Brenner and Tim Ginter, that would give a $50,000 property tax exemption to the surviving spouse of a firefighter, police officer, or paramedic. "These folks are due and owed our absolute best because of the sacrifice they have made," says Mingo.

In Coachella Valley, Congressman Raul Ruiz has proposed a different approach, introducing a bill to reform the California death benefits system for law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty, through reforming the related aspects of the Omnibus Crime Control and Safe Street Act of 1968. Ruiz, a former first responder, noted the limitations of current legislation, talking of the potentially long wait times for allocation of benefits, and the failure to account for inflation. Said Ruiz of the proposed reforms, "Our officers and firefighters pay the ultimate price protecting you and me and our community and the least we can do is ensure that their families have the support and resources they need."