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N.Y. county law gives 10% county tax break to volunteer responders

Supporters of the new law believe it will improve recruitment and retention of volunteers


Erie county volunteer firefighters and EMS providers need to serve at least two years to receive the property tax exemption

Erie County

By Sandra Tan
The Buffalo News

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A newly adopted Erie County law offers a 10% county property tax exemption for volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers.

To be eligible for the tax break, volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers must serve a minimum of two years and live in the same district where they serve. The requirements of the law were set by New York State.

The proposal to have Erie County participate in the tax exemption program was initially made by Republican Legislator James Malczewski of Elma and unanimously approved by the entire County Legislature last month.

It was signed into law this past week by Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

Both men said they hope the new law will help entice more men and women to join volunteer fire companies and ambulance crews, which are experiencing serious problems with recruitment. Erie County has 94 volunteer fire departments and five emergency squads, accounting for more than 5,000 members.


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