Congress OKs exception for firefighters’ families funds

Congress OKs exception for firefighters’families funds

11 December 2006

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USA — The U.S. Congress passed legislation early Saturday to ensure thefamilies of five firefighters killed in Southern California can get more than $1million in donations despite an IRS snag.

The measure was passed by voice vote in the final hours of the GOP-controlledCongress and now goes to President Bush for his signature.

The legislation would allow the Central County United Way in Hemet todistribute money to the families of the U.S. Forest Service firefighters killedin an arson blaze in October — even though the organization was not supposed toraise it under Internal Revenue Service rules.

The rules prevent tax-exempt charitable organizations from raising money tobenefit individuals, so the United Way risked losing its tax exempt status.

The legislation applies only to money raised to help families of thefirefighter victims of the Esperanza Fire.

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