Dutchess to consider tax exemption for volunteer fire & ambulance personnel

According to Mid-Hudson News, HYDE PARK – Dutchess County Legislature Chairman Gregg Pulver and others gathered at the Roosevelt Fire Department Station 3 on Wednesday to announce plans to offer a tax exemption for members of volunteer fire departments or ambulance services for at least two years. The state made the exemption possible when Governor Hochul signed the legislation in December.

The state law allows local governments to adopt a local law to exempt up to 10 percent of the assessed value of a primary home for the volunteers in an effort to retain current members and entice potential new recruits to commit to the volunteer service.

The county legislature is set to vote on a variation of the law in February. The county law, as proposed, would offer a 10 percent county property tax exemption to volunteer members who have actively served for a minimum of three years and would be offered for each year of subsequent service. To be eligible, the members must reside in the city, town, or village where the incorporated volunteer fire company, fire department, or volunteer ambulance service is located.

Volunteers who actively serve their department for 20 years will be offered the exemption for the remainder of their lives as long as their primary residence remains in Dutchess County.

Pulver, a life member of the Pine Plains Fire Department, said the proposed Dutchess County law will affect approximately 1,200 county residents. He also noted that individual municipalities and school districts are also allowed to offer the exemption. “It’s an honor to serve as a volunteer firefighter and I am confident that my fellow members feel the same pride and passion that I do,” he said. “There aren’t enough ways to fully thank these brave men and women for the services they provide their municipalities, but it is my hope that this measure will help show how incredibly grateful we are for their service.”

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