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For Immediate Release
January 18, 2023
Contact: Carly Bulgia
For Immediate Release
HYDE PARK, NY – Joined by members of the Dutchess County Legislature at the Roosevelt Fire Station #3 in Hyde Park, Chairman Gregg Pulver announced the introduction of a local law that would allow for a ten percent county property tax exemption for volunteer firefighter and volunteer ambulance service members. The proposed local law will be on the agenda for the February Board Meeting where it will be voted on before going to the County Executive’s desk for consideration.
“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,” said Gregg Pulver, Chairman of the Dutchess County Legislature. “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 and work and serves as a reminder that they will always have our support and backing. I thank my colleagues for joining me in support of this measure and look forward to voting on this during our February Board Meeting.”
“It's an honor to be a sponsor of this Resolution that provides us with a small way to say ‘thank you’ and offer our full appreciation to the men and women who volunteer their time as either a firefighter or ambulance service member in Dutchess County,” said Majority Leader Will Truitt (Hyde Park, Town of Poughkeepsie). “Our volunteer members are selfless leaders within our community, and the service they provide is immeasurable. It is my hope that this exemption will help incentivize other individuals to answer the call to serve and protect their communities.”
Legislator Ben Geller (Hyde Park) said, “For the last 10 years, since I was 16 years old, I have had the privilege & honor of volunteering in Hyde Park with the Roosevelt Fire District. Volunteerism is an important step every young adult should take to give back to their community. I am proud to have brought this volunteer tax exemption resolution forward in the beginning of my first term, working with Albany to pass the needed bill to make this local law possible to our county volunteers. It is my sincere hope that this tax exemption will help maintain the great volunteers currently serving in Dutchess & bring the much-needed next generation.”
Legislator Joseph D. Cavaccini, District 15, said, "I am proud to join my colleagues in sponsoring and introducing this important legislation that allows for a County property tax exemption for both volunteer firefighters and ambulance service members. Through this, we hope to build on much needed volunteer recruitment efforts and show our appreciation for their courageous service and the risks they take every day to keep us safe."
Robert Boyles, President of the Dutchess County Volunteer Firefighters Association said, “I appreciate the County taking the lead on this property tax exemption and hope it’s a catalyst for other taxing entities like the cities, towns, villages, and school districts to adopt it as well. The financial savings our volunteerism realizes still far exceeds any credit that we would receive. From supporting high school football games to car accidents to house fires, we are always there for our community- no matter what- and we are very grateful for this tax exemption recognition.”
“This proposed local law is a boon for the volunteer ambulance corps and fire departments within our State and County for a number of reasons, and I’m thrilled to see if be introduced into local law here in Dutchess County,” said John O’Brien, 1st Vice President of the Dutchess County Volunteer Firefighters Association. “The potential monetary relief that this will provide for members as costs continue to rise will be help for current members and will also create incentives for current members to remain over a period of years. As someone who advocated for the bill passage in Albany, I thank the County Legislature for introducing this law and for their support.
Jeffrey Renihan, Chief of the New Hamburg Fire District said, “I would like to thank Chairman Pulver and the rest of the Legislators who supported this new law. As Chief of an all-volunteer fire department I hope this will retain the current active members and encourage new members to join. I am now hoping that the other government entities such as local Towns, Fire Districts and especially School Districts adopt this as well. I feel this is another way to recognize what these brave volunteer men and women do for their community. Volunteers Firefighters save County taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars annually.”
The local law would offer a ten 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 service thereafter. Members must reside in the city, town, or village that the incorporated volunteer fire company, fire department, or voluntary ambulance service is located. Individuals who actively served for a total of twenty years would be offered this exemption for the remainder of his or her life as long as their primary residence remains within Dutchess County.
The application process will be coordinated by the local municipalities assessor’s office.
This legislation comes after New York State recently signed into law a bill that allows all local governments with the option to provide a property tax exemption to the groups mentioned above.
Pursuant to the rules of the County Legislature, the proposed local law was laid at the Legislator’s Desks at the Board Meeting on Tuesday, January 17, 2023. It will now go to a committee vote before being heard at the full board meeting on Tuesday, February 14, 2023. This measure will go into effect for the 2025 tax rolls.
A copy of the proposed local law is attached.
To learn more, individuals can call the Dutchess County Legislature at 845-486-2100 or email CountyLegislature@dutchessny.gov.
To view the press conference in its entirety, click here.