Washington, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives has unanimously passed H.R. 5127, the Slain Officer Family Support Act of 2015, a bi-partisan piece of legislation sponsored by Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY). Rep. Peter King (R-NY) is an original co-sponsor of the bill. The legislation extends the tax deadline so that individuals making charitable donations to organizations supporting the families of assassinated New York Police Department (NYPD) Detectives Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos can apply such tax deductions to their 2014 tax return.
Under current law, individuals contributing to organizations that provide financial support to the families of the slain detectives were required to make their contributions by December 31 of last year to qualify for a tax deduction in connection with a 2015 filing. This bill extends the date of eligibility. Upon enactment, charitable contributions made by this year’s April 15 tax filing deadline would be deductible immediately. The bill also provides a clarification that contributions made for the relief of the Liu or Ramos families qualify as charitable contributions, for tax purposes, addressing the concern about whether such donations are eligible for the charitable tax deduction because the contributions are for the exclusive benefit of the two families.
Rep. Jeffries said: “Detectives Ramos and Liu were courageous individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting and serving our community. In the aftermath of this unspeakable tragedy, we must stand behind the families these heroes left behind. Passage of this tax incentive legislation in the House is an important step in that direction.”
Rep. King said: “The government has a moral duty to reward those who step forward in times of tragedy. The Slain Officer Family Support Act is critical to ensuring that those who kindly assist the families of slain NYPD Officers Liu and Ramos are rewarded.”
Bill Johnson, Executive Director of the National Association of Police Organizations (NAPO) said: “NAPO is grateful to Congressmen Jeffries and King for introducing the Slain Officer Family Support Act of 2015. This important legislation will ensure continued support to the families of two heroes who dedicated their lives to public service, NYPD Detectives Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu. As we continue to mourn the loss of these officers, who were members of NAPO, it is critical that we provide their families with every available resource. We stand ready to support any efforts necessary to ensure this bill becomes law.”
On December 20, 2014, while sitting in their marked patrol car, NYPD Detectives Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos were approached from behind and, with no warning, shot at point-blank range in the Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood represented by Rep. Jeffries. Liu and Ramos, both Brooklyn residents, had been assigned to patrol the Tompkins Public Housing Development as a part of a “critical-response detail” deployed to the area due to an uptick in violence there over the past year.
Detective Ramos, 40, joined the NYPD two years ago and is survived by a wife and two sons, ages 13 and 19. Detective Liu, 32, is survived by his newlywed wife and his immigrant parents. Congress enacted similar laws in both 2014 (Public Law 113-92) and 2010 (Public Law 111-126) to encourage donations to the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda and to Haiti after they suffered from a major earthquake.
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