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|Wednesday, April 13, 2020||
County Executive Joseph A. Griffo today announced that he is sending the
Oneida County Board of Legislators a proposed local law to create a property
tax exemption targeted for
firefighters and emergency crews are the first line of defense in our rural
and suburban communities,” Griffo said. “They are the everyday heroes
who are called upon at all hours of the day or night when their neighbors
and friends face an emergency situation. Yet while the need for dedicated
firefighters grows, our volunteer fire departments are facing increased
difficulties in recruiting men and women to devote their time to these
historic and vital parts of our communities. This exemption is a way of
showing our appreciation for these hometown heroes who are so important
said the exemption would amount to 10 percent of a house’s assessed value
up to $3,000, multiplied by the latest equalization rate for that community.
He said that the exemption will reduce the county tax bill between $20 and
$30 for an average firefighter’s home, although the figure will vary by
communities because of equalization rates. The law will provide the
exemption only for property that is the primary residence of a firefighter,
and will target firefighters with five or more years of service.
Firefighters and emergency workers with more than 20 years of service to
their departments would be granted the exemption for life, even after they
finish their active service. The exemption would require an annual
exemption is not a lot of money, but it is a very sincere token of gratitude
we feel toward our volunteer firefighters and the appreciation we have for
their services,” Griffo said, noting that this exemption could be approved
by villages, towns, and school districts to multiply the benefit to the
county’s roughly 2,400 volunteer firefighters who belong to 48 fire
departments. “We hope that this token of our support and appreciation will
help our volunteer fire departments as they seek to recruit and retain
members to protect the people of
said the exemption exists in other counties.
RoAnn Destito and Senator Raymond Meier have already supported creation of a
real property tax credit for volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers.
To extend that to
said that preliminary estimates project that the exemption is estimated to
save the county’s volunteer firefighters about $59,000 annually.
Fire Departments and Ambulance Corps are the backbone of homeland security
and emergency services for our rural and suburban communities,” Griffo
said. “This exemption rewards volunteers who give thousands of hours every
year to serve and protect their communities.”