A bill to exempt the families of fallen first responders from the Realty Transfer Tax has passed the state House. H.B. 269 made it through on a 199-0 unanimous vote.

State Rep. Frank Farry co-authored H.B. 269. It is one of several bills to help first responders he hopes will pass unanimously.

“Excluding families of fallen first responders from paying a realty transfer tax after losing a loved one will ease financial burdens of having to move, ultimately helping them during that difficult time,” Farry said.

As families of first responders killed in the line of duty grieve after a devastating loss, there is also a financial issue. One less income for a household means a likelihood the family would have to move from their current home.

If the family decides to move and sell their home, H.B. 269 would exempt them from the realty transfer tax for five years. This would help alleviate some of the financial strain.

Families of fallen first responders also receive a payment from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as part of the Emergency and Law Enforcement Personnel Death Benefit Act. Adjusted annually for inflation, the current amount is $149,942.55.

“Our first responders have given so much to our communities and I believe we can show our gratitude for their sacrifices by giving back to their families during difficult times,” Farry said.