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Larson Proposes Tax Changes to Help First Responders, Promise Zones, and Philanthropists

May 12, 2016
Press Release

Washington – Today, Rep. John B. Larson (CT-01) testified before the Tax Policy Subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee about his proposals to support volunteer firefighters and first responders, encourage job creation in Promise Zones, and ensure companies are able to donate all of their profits to charity through foundations like Connecticut-based Newman’s Own.

“It is our responsibility to find the common ground to do the common good, and we have the power to do so today,” said Larson. “My colleagues and I worked across the aisle on proposals to help our volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel, to bring good jobs into struggling Promise Zones like Hartford’s North End, and to ensure companies that donate all of their proceeds to charity can continue their good work. These are not partisan issues. Volunteer first responders are on the frontlines keeping all of us safe. They save our communities billions by giving freely of their services, but are taxed when towns try to give them even small rewards. That simply is not right.

“Promise Zones should be more than a promise. Residents face tremendous challenges from homelessness to poverty to unemployment and even violence. We can do so much good if we encourage businesses to locate within or hire employees from the Zone.

“Companies that devote one hundred percent of their profits to charities already do great work. Just look at everything Newman’s Own Foundation has done in Connecticut and across the country. It would just take a small, technical fix to make sure they can keep doing their good work. All of these proposals are bipartisan. All of them would pass if they were brought before the Committee or to the floor for a vote. I commend Chairman Boustany for holding this hearing, and I strongly encourage him to take up these bills before the year is out.”

Larson introduced the Volunteer Responder Incentive Protection Act with Rep. Dave Reichert (WA-08) in June of 2015. He also worked with Reichert to introduce the Philanthropic Enterprise Act. Earlier this year, Larson held a press conference in Hartford’s North End to discuss the Promise Zone Job Creation Act, which he wrote with Chairman Hal Rogers (KY-05).