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Mackenzie Reintroduces Legislation to Exempt Volunteer Fire and Rescue Companies from Realty Transfer Taxes in PA
HARRISBURG – Because volunteer fire companies play a vital role in communities across Pennsylvania and deserve support in their efforts to combine resources to better serve the residents they represent, Rep. Ryan Mackenzie (R-Berks/Lehigh) reintroduced his legislation, House Bill 465, to exempt them from realty transfer taxes as defined under Act 2 of 1971, known as the Tax Reform Code.

“I believe it is both fitting and appropriate to give volunteer fire and rescue companies exemption status because many of them have taken steps to merge or consolidate to save on resources, including three Berks County fire companies located within the 134th Legislative District,” said Mackenzie. “Under current law, however, volunteer fire companies that do so are not exempt from the realty transfer tax, which imposes an expensive burden on these nonprofit organizations.”

The Commonwealth currently collects a realty transfer tax, which is imposed at the rate of 1 percent on the value of the real estate being transferred by deed, instrument, long-term lease or other writing. Both the grantor and grantee are held jointly liable for payment of this tax; and counties can also impose an additional local realty transfer tax.

Measures in House Bill 465 would exempt volunteer fire companies and volunteer rescue companies from the realty transfer tax when merging or consolidating, or just conducting a normal sale or acquisition of real estate.

“The state fire commissioner has been encouraging volunteer fire and rescue companies to merge together to increase public safety in communities across the state, as well as to quicken response times and generate better avenues for emergency personnel training,” said Mackenzie. “When these organizations are doing so, however, they find that they are being penalized with these taxes, and my legislation aims to eliminate that problem.”

Currently, some real estate transfers are exempt from the realty transfer tax, including transfers among family members, governmental units, religious organizations, shareholders or partners, and to or from nonprofit industrial development agencies.

House Bill 465 now awaits consideration in the House Finance Committee. For more legislative information, visit Mackenzie’s website at or follow his legislative Facebook page at

Representative Ryan Mackenzie
134th District
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
Media Contact: Lauren Whetzel
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