Broome County introduces property tax exemption for volunteer 1st responders

Published: Feb. 2, 2023 at 6:03 PM EST
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PORT DICKINSON (WBNG) -- Volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel in Broome County will be eligible for a property tax exemption under a new county resolution.

Details of the new proposal were announced by County Executive Jason Garnar at a news conference held at Port Dickinson Volunteer Fire Department Thursday afternoon.

Garnar said this is one of many things the county will be doing to help out volunteer departments whose numbers are at an all-time low.

“We are doing a whole study to see how we can help our volunteer agencies at the county level so this is just one of several things we will be doing to help this really important issue,” said Garnar.

Senator Lea Webb, who was in attendance at the press conference, hopes the legislation will help local volunteer departments recruit new volunteers.

“Volunteer first responders perform a majority of our fire and emergency response here in New York, and I believe that this tax exemption will help to recruit more volunteer first responders,” said Webb.

Volunteers will become eligible for the exemption, which is worth up to 10% of the assessed value of their property, after serving with a department for two years.

The resolution is made possible by state legislation passed last June that allows local governments to provide this option.