Thursday, April 23, 2009

Volunteering for Money

The Daily Gazette has an Editorial: Tax breaks for volunteer firemen

"Sen. Charles Schumer ... give volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians a $1,000 federal income tax credit ... a state bill to provide property tax breaks for volunteers ... aren’t volunteering ... like they used to. They’re either too busy with their jobs or families, too lazy, too selfish — there are any number of reasons."

Here's the clicher: Schumer wants to give "anyone who spends at least six months as a volunteer and at least 40 hours per year working in that capacity $1,000 off their federal tax bill"

When you put it like that, people will start to calculate the hourly rates and your volunteers will fall even more. Besides, people who volunteer for financial gain tend to be lousy volunteers and far more of a pain in the ass than anything else.

I can see many people starting this process, entering training (at huge cost to the system), hanging around being a pain and wasting the time of the real volunteers and firemen. I can see the Captains in a paperwork nightmare, having to sign off that each man and woman was indeed there for 40 working hours and 6 volunteering months each year. I can see many people showing up, waving and going to their real jobs. I can see resentment forming that "They're only doing it for the G" and "Him? He was here 40 hours?"

"If you do for the reward and recognition, you can't afford it. If you do it for the enjoyment, the reward and recognition comes free of charge."

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