NEW PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION FOR RENSSELAER COUNTY FIRE AND AMBULANCE VOLUNTEERS APPROVED UNANIMOUSLY BY COUNTY LEGISLATURE, COUNTY EXECUTIVE STEVE MCLAUGHLIN AND LEGISLATORS ANNOUNCE
A local law to provide a 10 percent property tax exemption to members of volunteer fire and ambulance companies was approved by the Rensselaer County Legislature at the February 14 legislative meeting, county leaders announced.
The local law was introduced by County Executive Steve McLaughlin earlier this month and was approved unanimously by members of the County Legislature.
McLaughlin and legislators said the new property tax exemption, which would go into effect for county property taxes in 2024, will recognize the service and dedication of volunteer first responders. The new exemption will also support recruitment and retention efforts in the county.
“Rensselaer County has been protected by loyal and brave fire and ambulance volunteers for generations. This new exemption will recognize that service and the commitment by these volunteers,” said McLaughlin.
“The county is also hopeful this new exemption will help maintain the ranks of our volunteer fire and ambulance companies and encourage others to join the ranks of these outstanding organizations,” 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.
“Our volunteer first responders are always there for us when we need them, and that is why we were eager to support this effort to provide them a tax exemption. We also adopted a resolution urging New York State to support a Senate Bill that will increase the amount of the exemption,” said Chairwoman Kelly Hoffman.
“Our adoption of this exemption is a great way to recognize the service of the men and women who bravely volunteer to serve and protect our communities. As someone who has served as a volunteer for many years with the Town of Hoosick Rescue Squad, I think I can speak for volunteers across our county who appreciate this initiative,” said Legislator Bruce Patire.
“Volunteer firefighters sacrifice their time during training, and are on call 24 hours a day, ready to serve in times of emergencies. It is hard to put a price on all that they spend out of their own pockets, just to serve us at no cost, so a partial exemption on their property taxes is a good first step that I was thrilled to support,” said Legislator Wayne Gendron.