Find­ing favour

Search and res­cue vol­un­teer tax credit good news, says Wolver­ines mem­ber

The Compass - - Editorial - BUD­GET 2018 BY ROSIE MULLALEY rosie.mullaley@thetele­gram.com Twit­ter: Te­lyRosie

In his 22 years with the Avalon North Wolver­ines Search and Res­cue group, Joe Cleary has vol­un­teered a lot of time, driven a lot of kilo­me­tres and dished out a lot of his own money to help find and save peo­ple in this prov­ince.

The 61-year-old loves what he does and would never com­plain.

But the an­nounce­ment in the pro­vin­cial gov­ern­ment bud­get last Tues­day that first re­spon­ders would be al­lot­ted a new search and res­cue vol­un­teer tax credit cer­tainly came as good news for him.

“It will be a big help to us,” said Cleary, who clocked al­most 750 hours of vol­un­teer work last year with the Wolver­ines.

“This has been in the works for a few years, so it’s long over­due,” he said.

Cleary said there’s a heavy cost to be­ing a vol­un­teer search and res­cue mem­ber, in that all equip­ment has to be paid for out of mem­bers’ own pock­ets.

“We have to buy GPSs, com­passes, proper cloth­ing, like cov­er­alls, not to men­tion the gas driv­ing back and forth,” he said. “A GPS alone can cost about $500. It all adds up, so this will be a big sav­ings for us.”

The pro­vin­cial tax credit will al­low el­i­gi­ble search and res­cue vol­un­teers to claim a $3,000 non-re­fund­able tax credit.

Cleary fig­ures he’ll get back about $300 in taxes, along with ad­di­tional money from the fed­eral vol­un­teer search and res­cue tax credit, which has been avail­able since the 2014 tax­a­tion year.

“It’ll be a big ben­e­fit for us, for sure,” said Cleary, adding that there are 27 search and res­cue groups across the prov­ince. “And maybe it will help at­tract more (search and res­cue) vol­un­teers.”

It will be a big help to us.

— Joe Cleary

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Joe Cleary is a long­time vol­un­teer with the Avalon North Wolver­ines Search and Res­cue group.

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