Letter to the Editor: Added Benefit for Volunteer First Responders

Paul Feiner

Last week the Greenburgh Town Board heard from our Volunteer Ambulance Corp’s. Some are having  problems recruiting and keeping their volunteers.

A suggestion that could be of help to the volunteers. Currently, Volunteer Ambulance Corp and Firefighters receive 10% off their property taxes. This is a substantial benefit.  But, the discount only kicks in after five years of service. If potential recruits would know that they could get the 10% property tax reduction after one year of service it would help all the Volunteer Ambulance and Fire departments recruit and keep members.

I will be reaching out to NYS Legislators and will ask that the law be amended to authorize local governments to have the option of offering tax breaks to volunteers who serve for  over one year instead of five.  This is a much less expensive option than having to rely on paid fire departments or paid Ambulance Corps. Our volunteers are extremely dedicated – they respond day, evening, weekends and holidays. The hard working volunteers deserve the tax breaks if they give at least a year of their lives to serving the community.  Making them wait for at least five years before getting the tax breaks doesn’t  give the volunteer departments  the maximum help in recruiting new members.

Greenburgh Town Supervisor

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About the Author: Paul Feiner