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Indiana fireworks tax raises millions for training

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The people who bought fireworks to set off around the Fourth of July holiday helped to fund firefighter training across Indiana.

State budget officials said Indiana took in $2.5 million from the special 5-percent public safety tax on fireworks during the 2011 fiscal year that ended June 30. That indicates about $51 million in retail fireworks sales around the state during that time, The Journal Gazette of Fort Wayne reported Thursday.

The tax has been in effect since 2006. In previous years, the state has collected between $2.4 million and $2.7 million, for a five-year total of more than $12.5 million.

Most of that money has gone to standardize and upgrade firefighter training around the state. A fund for local disaster relief also has a balance of about $2 million.

"The training in the state of Indiana has greatly increased as well as the standardization," Auburn Fire Department Division Chief Doug Cox said. "A lot of firefighters now have training that may not have been accessible before."

Before that state funding was available, departments around Indiana handled training on their own. Sometimes local taxpayers paid for it; sometimes the firefighters themselves shelled out the money.

The state is now divided into 10 training councils. For instance, the northeast Indiana region receives about $100,000 a year to provide training free to firefighters.

Cox said the money also pays the instructors and has bought many firefighting props such as chain saws, hose, roof ventilation simulators and live fire simulators.

John Erickson, spokesman for the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, which oversees the training money, said the state has also bought a mobile fire trainer and hazardous materials trainer that can be requested anywhere around the state.

Records show that more than 11,000 firefighters a year have trained on the state equipment.

Erickson said more than just basic training courses are available. Some specific classes are for flashover detection and swift water rescues.

"It's completely different than it used to be," he said.

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  • Please raise the tax!
    To at least 20%. This may discourage use during the oh so many nights it's not the fourth while still maintaining the tax revenue.
  • if that is all it takes
    I guess it all about the money. I assume that the medical and fire costs to our communities are less than the taxes that have been collected. If it is all about the money, The state should leagalize prostitution, cocaine, and pot. I am sure the several million collected in a special tax would dwarf fireworks, and less people would be hurt.
  • $51 Million in Fireworks Sales
    And it seemed like at least $5 million worth went off in my neighborhood alone...

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  1. Can your dog sign a marriage license or personally state that he wishes to join you in a legal union? If not then no, you cannot marry him. When you teach him to read, write, and speak a discernible language, then maybe you'll have a reasonable argument. Thanks for playing!

  2. Look no further than Mike Rowe, the former host of dirty jobs, who was also a classically trained singer.

  3. Current law states income taxes are paid to the county of residence not county of income source. The most likely scenario would be some alteration of the income tax distribution formula so money earned in Marion co. would go to Marion Co by residents of other counties would partially be distributed to Marion co. as opposed to now where the entirety is held by the resident's county.

  4. This is more same-old, same-old from a new generation of non-progressive 'progressives and fear mongers. One only needs to look at the economic havoc being experienced in California to understand the effect of drought on economies and people's lives. The same mindset in California turned a blind eye to the growth of population and water needs in California, defeating proposal after proposal to build reservoirs, improve water storage and delivery infrastructure...and the price now being paid for putting the demands of a raucous minority ahead of the needs of many. Some people never, never learn..

  5. I wonder if I can marry him too? Considering we are both males, wouldn't that be a same sex marriage as well? If they don't honor it, I'll scream discrimination just like all these people have....

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