Real Property Tax Law Signed by the Governor

REAL PROPERTY TAX LAW SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR ON 12/09/2022

Now that the bill is signed, we now need to encourage our local government to vote to provide a property tax exemption to our volunteer firefighters, and volunteer EMS providers.

This change in the real property tax law will allow any county to adopt a local law that will provide an exemption on real property owned by an enrolled member of an incorporated volunteer fire company, department, or voluntary ambulance service.

The change in the law will exempt up to 10% of the assessed value for members who served a minimum of two years. The law would require localities that currently provide the exemption adopt a local law to conform to this provision.

LINK TO BILL:

https://afdca.org/wp-content/uploads/2022/10/BILL-NUMBER-9131-10-2022-3.docx

Parsing the Document Bill Number S9131:

  • Amends the real property tax law by adding new section 466-A*2
  • Signed by the Governor on 12/9/22 Chapter 670
  • Provides all local governments with the option to provide a property tax exemption to volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers.
  • Provides a tax exemption to enrolled members of an incorporated volunteer fire company or incorporated voluntary ambulance service.
  • Shall be exempt from taxation to the extent of up to ten percent of the assessed value of such property for city, village, town, part town, special district, school district, fire district or county purposes, exclusive of special assessments, provided that the governing body of a city, village, town, school district, fire district or county, after a public hearing, adopts a local law, ordinance or resolution providing therefor.
  • The property is the primary residence of the applicant. (can’t be taken for a summer home, camp etc.)
  • Exemptions only apply to residential property.
  • In summation, the bill would allow any county to adopt a local law (let’s put that another way, it allows any local jurisdiction within any county to adopt a local law) that will provide an exemption on real property owned by an enrolled member of an incorporated volunteer fire company, department, or voluntary ambulance service. The bill would exempt up to 10% of the assessed value for members who served a minimum of two years. The bill would require localities that currently provide the exemption adopt a local law to conform to this provision.
  • Volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers provide a significant benefit to residents and taxpayers through their countless hours of service protecting our communities. Currently, less than half of counties in New York are authorized to provide a local property tax exemption benefit to qualifying volunteer firefighter and ambulance workers. This bill seeks to provide a statewide option for all local governments to offer up to a 10% exemption of assessed value to eligible volunteers. This bill provides for flexibility in administering this property tax exemption by giving local governments discretion in adopting a local law or ordinance. By expanding the opportunity to provide this critical tax exemption, it will help improve recruitment and retention of our volunteer fire and ambulance services.
  • Any city, village, town, school district, fire district or county that currently, through local law, ordinance or resolution, provides an exemption from taxation for an enrolled member of an incorporated volunteer fire company, fire department or incorporated voluntary ambulance service, such enrolled member and spouse, or an un-remarried spouse shall be authorized to continue to provide such exemption, provided however, such city, village, town, school district, fire district or county shall adopt a local law, ordinance or resolution to conform to the provisions of this section no later than three years after the effective date of this section. (In other words, the old tax exemption law and its language go away!)