Property Tax Exemption Bill for Volunteer First Responders Is One Step Away from Becoming Law
by M. C. Millman
A proposed New York state law would allow local municipalities to provide volunteer ambulance corps members and volunteer a property tax deduction of up to 10% for those who have served at least two years.
The legislation was crafted by state Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick and Assembly Member Ken Zebrowski. The pair gathered with first responders, representatives from the Firefighters Association of the State of New York, and local elected officials in support of legislation to allow local government to provide a tax credit for volunteer firefighters and ambulance corps members. The press conference took place at the Nanuet Fire Engine Company on Tuesday, October 11. It was also attended by Assemblyman Mike Lawler, Rockland County Executive Ed Day, Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann, and West Haverstraw Mayor Robert D'Amelio.
The bill, which passed the Senate and the Assembly unanimously, would allow all New York local governments to adopt a local law to exempt up to 10% of the assessed value for volunteers who have been members of a volunteer fire department or ambulance service for at least two years.
Volunteer first responders in Rockland say that if passed, this law will be a positive step toward encouraging more recruits.
The proposed law needs Gov. Kathy Hochul's signature to become law.
Rockland County Executive Ed Day and Clarkstown Supervisor George Hoehmann both say they will work to pass the proposal into law locally once Hochul signs it.
"Volunteer first responders have served Rockland for more than a century and a half, and we are going to do absolutely everything we can to support them. This bill passed unanimously in the Senate and the Assembly, and I fully expect the Governor will be signing this in the very near future so that local governments can put this tax exemption into effect in their communities. This will be a big win that we will all celebrate," said Senator Elijah Reichlin-Melnick.