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December 3, 2021

Legislation authorizes Monre County to grant certain tax exemptions on property owned by members of volunteer firefighter companies or voluntary ambulance services

New York State Governor Hochul signed a bill authorizing Monroe County to grant tax exemption on property owned by members of volunteer firefighter companies or voluntary ambulance services in Monroe County. The new law, Chapter 652 of the Laws of 2021, permits Monroe County to provide a 10% exemption to qualifying members of such organizations.

 

Monroe County may provide a 10% real property tax exemption to volunteer firefighter or emergency workers who have been a part of the organization for two years.

 

"When trouble calls, our volunteer firefighters and emergency workers are there to answer," Governor Hochul said. "These selfless volunteers deserve our full support, and I'm proud to sign legislation that rewards them for their sacrifice and encourages others to join their ranks to keep our communities in Monroe County safe."

 

The real property tax exemption will be taken off the assessed value of property for city, village, town, part town, special district, school district, fire district or county purposes. The act takes effect on January 1, 2022.

 

Senator Samra Brouk said: "Here in Monroe County, our volunteer firefighters and ambulance personnel have time and time again answered the call to serve our community. These are brave women and men who take great risks in the interest of the public good, asking for nothing in return. Their volunteerism is a great service to our community and our state, which is why I was proud to carry legislation that creates an exemption on their property taxes. While there is no way to adequately thank these volunteers for their bravery and commitment to their work, this is a small step to ensure they receive the support and gratitude they deserve. I am grateful to my colleague, Assemblymember Jen Lunsford for carrying this bill in the Assembly, and to Governor Kathy Hochul for signing this legislation in service of our communities."

 

Assemblymember Jen Lunsford said: "Monroe County's volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers have always been there for us, receiving no compensation for their service, yet committing themselves to helping our community in a time of need. This legislation enables us to be there for them, providing a 10% real property tax exemption in recognition of their sacrifice and service.  I want to thank local leaders for their support of this legislation such as County Legislator John Baynes, Senator Brouk for her partnership and Governor Hochul for recognizing the importance of this legislation and the positive impact it will have for those actively serving our community."

The text of Chapter 652 is set out below:

LAWS OF NEW YORK, 2021

CHAPTER 652

AN ACT to amend the real property tax law, in relation to providing a tax exemption on real property owned by members of volunteer fire companies or voluntary ambulance services in a certain county

Became a law December 1, 2021, with the approval of the Governor.  Passed by a majority vote, three-fifths being present.

 The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assembly, do enact as follows:

 Section 1. The real property tax law is amended by adding a new section 466-k to read as follows:

 § 466-k. Volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers;  certain county. 1. Real property owned by an enrolled member of an incorporated volunteer fire company, fire department or incorporated voluntary ambulance service or such enrolled member and spouse residing in any county having a population of more than seven hundred thirty-five thousand and less than seven hundred fifty thousand inhabitants, based upon and recorded by the two thousand ten federal census, shall be exempt from taxation to the extent of ten percent of the assessed value of such property for city, village, town, part town, special district, school district, fire district or county purposes, exclusive of special assessments, provided that the governing body of a city, village, town, school district, fire district or county, after a public hearing, adopts a local law, ordinance or resolution providing therefor.

 2. Such exemption shall not be granted to an enrolled member of an incorporated volunteer fire company, fire department or incorporated voluntary ambulance service residing in such county unless:

 (a) the applicant resides in the city, town or village which is served by such incorporated volunteer fire company or fire department or incoporated voluntary ambulance service;

 (b) the property is the primary residence of the applicant;

 (c) the property is used exclusively for residential purposes; provided however, that in the event any portion of such property is not used exclusively for the applicant's residence but is used for other purposes, such portion shall be subject to taxation and the remaining portion only shall be entitled to the exemption provided by this section; and

 (d) the applicant has been certified by the authority having jurisdiction for the incorporated volunteer fire company or fire department as an enrolled member of such incorporated volunteer fire company or fire department for at least two years or the applicant has been certified by the authority having jurisdiction for the incorporated voluntary ambulance service as an enrolled member of such incorporated voluntary ambulance service for at least two years. It shall be the duty and responsibility of the municipality, school district and/or fire district which adopts a local law, ordinance or resolution pursuant to this section to determine the procedure for certification.

 3. Any enrolled member of an incorporated volunteer fire company, fire department or incorporated voluntary ambulance service who accrues more than twenty years of active service and is so certified by the authority having jurisdiction for the incorporated volunteer fire company, fire department or incorporated voluntary ambulance service, shall be granted the ten percent exemption as authorized by this section for the remainder of his or her life as long as his or her primary residence is located within such county provided that the governing body of a city, village, town, school district, fire district or county, after a public hearing, adopts a local law, ordinance or resolution providing therefor.

 4. Application for such exemption shall be filed with the assessor or other agency, department or office designated by the municipality, school district and/or fire district offering such exemption on or before the taxable status date on a form as prescribed by the commissioner.

 5. No applicant who is a volunteer firefighter or volunteer ambulance worker who by reason of such status is receiving any benefit under the provisions of this article on the effective date of this section shall suffer any diminution of such benefit because of the provisions of this section.

 § 2. This act shall take effect on the first of January next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law and shall apply to taxable status dates occurring on or after such date.

 

 

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