Town of Ramapo Passes Law to Reduce Taxes for Emergency Workers
By M.C. Millman
As a result of the Property Tax Exemption for Volunteer First Responders Bill becoming a law in December, the Town of Ramapo stepped up to the plate last week, passing its own law to allow for a ten percent tax deduction for emergency volunteers.
“We were very happy to pass this law,” Town of Ramapo Supervisor Michael Specht shares with Rockland Daily, “which will give volunteer ambulance corps members and volunteer firefighters a 10% reduction on their assessment for Town taxes. We want to both acknowledge the service given to the Town by our voluntary first responders and also provide an incentive for our residents to volunteer.”
Emergency workers must submit the request using this form by March 1. Applications are also available from the Assessors Office at Town Hall, 237 Route 59 in Suffern.
New York State Certified emergency volunteers who have been certified as a volunteer by the fire company, fire department, or voluntary ambulance company as having actively served there for at least two years and who serve and reside in the Town of Ramapo are eligible for up to 10% reduction of the assessed value of their primary residence.
A member who has accrued 20 years of service may be exempt for the rest of his life as long as his primary residence is in Ramapo.
As for other Rockland County municipalities, each must adopt the law for their own residents. Many of the Villages and Towns in Rockland County are considering offering the same exemption for their emergency personnel as well, while Pomona and Wesley Hills already offer some form of a tax discount for their emergency personnel residents.
“We are looking into offering this tax break,” says Sruly Eisenbach, Village of Spring Valley trustee. “ I, for one, am very much in favor of it. This is the least we can do to show appreciation to those volunteers who risk their lives to save others.”
County Executive Ed Day released a statement in December on the subject saying, “Without question, this is something I am committing the County of Rockland to opting into and calling on our Legislature to get it done expeditiously.”
"Hatzoloh commends Ramapo Town Supervisor Michael Specht, as well as the Town Tax Assessor, Scott Shedler, for taking leading roles in this well-deserved boon for our selfless Hatzoloh volunteers," Hatzoloh of Rockland CEO, Rabbi Yosef C. Golding, shares with Rockland Daily. "We hope all the neighboring villages, towns, and municipalities quickly follow suit."