Paulsen introduces ‘Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act’

U.S. Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-Minn.) introduced the “Don’t Tax Our Fallen Public Safety Heroes Act” on Nov. 20.

The bill would amend the Internal Revenue Code to prevent death benefits and money paid under state programs to surviving dependents of public servants who died in the line of duty from being considered taxable gross income.

Current IRS regulations exempt federal survivors benefits from federal income tax, but the law is ambiguous as it relates to the taxation of state death benefits.

“Every single day police officers and firefighters in Minnesota put their lives on the line to keep our communities safe,” Paulsen said. “As recently as three months ago, we were reminded of the dangers these brave men and women face when a Mendota Heights police officer was killed in the line of duty. These officers deserve the promise that their loved ones will not face an excessive tax burden should they give the ultimate sacrifice.”

Officer Scott Patrick of the Mendota Heights police department was shot and killed during a traffic stop in July by a man wanted on outstanding warrants.

A companion bill was introduced to the Senate by Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) and passed without opposition.