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N.Y. officials give 10% tax break to volunteer fire, EMS personnel

Scotia-Glenville Central School District officials approved the break on property tax to help with recruitment, retention



By Chad Arnold
The Daily Gazette

SCOTIA, N.Y. — Some volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers that live within the Scotia-Glenville Central School District are now eligible for a 10% break on their property tax bills.

The district’s Board of Education approved legislation granting the exemption to volunteer emergency personnel with at least two years of experience at its meeting last week, making Scotia-Glenville schools the latest locally to extend the tax exemption.

The move comes more than a year after Gov. Kathy Hochul approved legislation allowing local municipalities, school districts and other taxing entities to begin providing the tax exemption as a way to assist volunteer fire departments recruit and retain members.

The town of Glenville approved the exemption last year, following in the footsteps of Schenectady County and the nearby towns of Rotterdam, Duanesburg, Niskayuna and Clifton Park, among others.

Several school districts also approved legislation granting the exemption, including the neighboring Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake Central School District, which approved the move back in December.

To receive the exemption, a volunteer firefighter or ambulance worker must reside within the school district and have at least two years. Individuals must apply for the tax break each year by March 1. The exemption becomes permanent after 20 years of service, according to the legislation.

The Scotia - Glenville school district exemption is available for the first time for the 2024-25 academic year.

School board members also approved expanding the income qualifications for a property tax exemption for seniors 65 and older. Low-income seniors living in the district with an annual income of $23,750 are currently eligible for a 50% break on their school property tax bill.

The revised exemption — which also must be applied for annually by March 1 — expands the eligibility requirements by $500. Seniors with an annual income of $24,250 are now eligible to receive a 50% break on their school property tax bill.

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