I agree to Idea Incentivize preparedness
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I disagree to Idea Incentivize preparedness

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Preparedness Grant Programs and Incentives »

Incentivize preparedness

Provide an incentive for people to become better prepared. Allow them to have a tax deduction for purchasing emergency supplies or performing retrofit work on their homes.

Submitted by 4 years ago

Comments (9)

  1. Why not a tax break or other incentive for the people who actively are involved through CERTS or other EmOps community activity?

    4 years ago
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  2. If the federal government offers tax breaks for preparedness, they should be restricted to capital investments with proven mitigation benefits, such as seismic retrofits. Such a program could be modeled on the success of historic building rehabilitation tax credits.

    4 years ago
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  3. One of the barriers noted in the majority of the literature, studies, and surveys on preparedness across the nation is that citizens are not preparing because of the cost of preparedness, especially now during our current economic downturn.

    The idea of providing incentives for purchasing preparedness items is very good. However, the way the incentives are implemented and monitored is very important. Like noted above, we don't want other populations involved in preparedness to feel slighted.

    One idea how to implement this is for the government to partner with private sectors such as Walmart, Kmart, Lowes, HomeDepot, Target, etc (basically any private entity that wants to be involved) and provide what is called "cause marketing." This is like Apples marketing strategy with all there red items purchase they were donating money to AIDS in Africa. A similar strategy could be implemented for preparedness.

    For example, we could take the 12 most important items in the preparedness kit and dedicated a month to each. During that month, the preparedness item would be moved to the front displays in the stores. Then the store advertising would promote that item and it's role in preparedness (addressing other major barriers to preparedness listed in the literature). Then, if that item is purchased during that month, it will be purchased tax free (hence the incentive). Everybody wins.

    4 years ago
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  4. I like it. Very similar to what I suggested in "Rewarding Personal Preparedness" Funny thing is that this got 11 votes and the one I propsed got -3. I guess it is in the pitch. Either way I will vote for this. Don't care who's idea it is as long as it gets a look.

    4 years ago
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  5. @ Glenn Zaring - if your CERT team is set up as a non-profit, then you can claim a percentage of your CERT-related items as a tax break.

    What would work more is that an across-the-board allowance of up to X dollars per year that you could claim on taxes for preparedness. The items would have to come from a 'list' of acceptable items (so you can't claim your flat screen TV is a preparedness item)...and you could only claim X dollars per year. That along with a campaign every year (say just before or at the start of tax season) might remind people to refresh their supplies or start your kit, and to be valid you would have to produce your receipts.

    4 years ago
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  6. I am opposed to implementing social policy through federal revenue generating mechanisms. One person's tax break for doing a good thing easily becomes a tax loophole for ten other people. One can already deduct personal expenses for volunteering at a non-profit disaster preparedness or relief organization, whether it is CERT, Red Cross, etc. We don't need more ways to incent people to do what they should be doing anyway.

    4 years ago
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    0 Disagreed
  7. I like it. Also maybe a reduction in home insurance, etc.

    4 years ago
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  8. Generally an excellent concept. But it will get scammed very quickly. What kind of mitigation efforts will have honest, permanent, and meaningful impact--not just another check-the-box that "we do that".

    4 years ago
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  9. Tax breaks sound good, but are very difficult to administer. Maybe encouraging States to make disaster releated stuff tax free during certain times of the year. Combine that incentive with strong advertizing by businesses (and maybe encourage those businesses to donate some supplies to their local disaster teams (CERT or even just Citizen Corps)might be easier to manage and might be better accepted by the citizens.

    4 years ago
    0 Agreed
    0 Disagreed

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