GovernmentThe Putnam Examiner

Tax Exemption for Volunteer Emergency Responders Signed in Putnam

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Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne signed a new law last week that provides a 10% property tax exemption for volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers.

The law, passed by the Putnam County Legislature on February 7, was encouraged by Byrne after enabling legislation was passed in the New York State Legislature in 2022 when Byrne was an assemblyman.

“I am proud to officially sign this important legislation into law, providing real results and financial relief for our hard-working volunteer first responders,” Byrne said at the Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services, flanked by several local volunteer fire and EMS officers. “This is government at its best; supporting and giving back to those who do the selfless work of protecting their communities and neighbors.”

The change to the tax law was made possible after Governor Hochul signed the bill, which was co-sponsored by Byrne and Michael Lawler, now a U.S. congressman. The legislation standardizes and simplifies the existing tax breaks, which allowed Putnam County to offer the tax exemption.

“Credit to my colleagues in the Legislature for moving on this quickly so we could ensure volunteers have an opportunity to receive this tax exemption this year,” said Putnam County Legislative Chairman Paul Jonke. “This exemption recognizes our volunteers and recognizes how dependent we are on our volunteers. We rely on them to keep us safe and with this simple recognition, it’s a token of our thanks.”

In order to qualify for the tax exemption, individuals must demonstrate five years of service and provide a certificate from his or her organization that they are an eligible enrolled member.

“These volunteers save New York State, counties, cities, towns, villages and schools billions of dollars annually,” said Protective Services Committee Chair Legislator Ginny Nacerino. “This tax exemption is how we can demonstrate our utmost respect to our communities’ volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers. I’m proud to have helped find a way to give back to these invaluable volunteers.”

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