RENSSELAER COUNTY TO PROVIDE COUNTY PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION FOR VOLUNTEER FIRE AND VOLUNTEER AMBULANCE SERVICE MEMBERS, COUNTY EXECUTIVE STEVE MCLAUGHLIN AND COUNTY LEGISLATORS ANNOUNCE
Rensselaer County will recognize the service and dedication of volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance company members by offering a 10 percent county property tax exemption, County Executive Steve McLaughlin and members of the County Legislature announced.
The county property tax exemption would also support recruitment and retention efforts across the county, McLaughlin and legislators noted.
“Rensselaer County owes an enormous debt of gratitude to our emergency services volunteers for their outstanding and valuable service. We can never fully repay that debt, but this exemption will help show our appreciation and support for their work,” said McLaughlin.
“We also hope this exemption helps efforts to attract more volunteers to our fire and ambulance companies, to enable more life-saving work that benefits us all,” added McLaughlin.
The county exemption comes two weeks after the opening of the county Emergency Services Training Complex in North Greenbush. The complex features state-of-the-art training devices and equipment and will help prepare first responders to protect county residents and property.
In 2021, McLaughlin introduced the Rensselaer County Responds effort which used county savings to provide $10,000 in funding to all fire and ambulance companies across the county, along with youth and veteran organizations.
“Rensselaer County has made a significant investment in supporting our brave men and women in our emergency services. We have provided funds to support departments, completed a major project to improve training and education, and are now supporting this property tax exemption,” said McLaughlin.
The county property tax exemption will be considered for approval at the February 12 legislative meeting. If approved, the exemption would take effect for the 2024 county tax bills, county officials noted.
“Our volunteer firefighters dedicate their time and energy to helping protect our homes and property without receiving any compensation. The Legislature appreciates their service, and we look forward to reviewing and adopting the Local Law that is required to grant these tax exemptions for them. Hopefully this will help retain and attract new firefighters in our communities,” said Chair of the Legislature Kelly Hoffman.
“Volunteer firefighters sacrifice their nights and weekends training, and are on call 24 hours a day, ready in times of emergency. It is hard to put a price on all that they spend out of their own pockets, to serve us at no cost, so a partial exemption on their property taxes is a good first step,” said Vice Chair Bob Loveridge.
“This property tax exemption is a great way to recognize the service of these men and women who bravely volunteer to serve our communities by placing themselves in harm’s way. As a board member of the Town of Hoosick Rescue Squad, I am very grateful and supportive of this initiative to recognize and reward the service of our volunteers,” said Legislator Bruce Patire.
State legislation was approved earlier this year allowing for the property tax exemption to be offered to municipalities.