Tax Incentives and Public Health: Injury Prevention on the Road, on the Water, and at Home
May 23, 2018
Tax incentives, in the form of tax credits, deductions or exemptions, can be effective legal interventions for advancing the public’s health. This resource examines tax incentives that encourage prevention of child and adult injuries that occur while traveling, during recreation, and at home.
A tax credit is a direct reduction in tax liability. For example, a $1,000 tax credit saves a taxpayer $1,000 in taxes. By contrast, a tax deduction lowers taxable income and the exact tax savings depends on one’s tax bracket. A tax exemption allows a consumer to avoid paying the sales tax on a product. The power to tax is a tool available to all levels of government—federal, state, and local—and therefore can be utilized in a variety of inventive ways to support public health initiatives.
Tax incentives can be used to address critical areas of transportation injury prevention measures, including child restraint systems in motor vehicles, helmets and reflective clothing for bicycle safety, helmets for motorcycle safety, and life preservers or personal floatation devices for water safety.
At home, tax incentives can encourage the purchase and use of fire safety equipment, including smoke alarms, smoke detectors, fire alarms, fire extinguishers, and heat-activated sprinkler systems.
This resource examines tax incentives that encourage prevention of child and adult injuries that occur while traveling, during recreation, and at home.