Today, Assemblywoman Mary Beth Walsh (R,C,I-Ballston) helped introduce legislation (A.7655) with Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I,Ref-Schoharie) that would free volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel from paying state income taxes. Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) and representatives from the Firemans Association of the State of New York (FASNY) and the Fire Chiefs Association were also in attendance.
In order to be eligible for the income tax exemption, firefighters and EMS volunteers must:
- Be in good standing
- Have at least one year of service minimum
- Complete all New York state mandated training courses
- Be certified by the chief emergency service coordinator of their county
- Attend at least 55 percent of activities
Walsh also met with Ed Trembley of the West Crescent Fire District in Clifton Park for Fire Services Lobby Day.
Firefighters and EMS volunteers save our state $3.87 billion every year just from volunteering their time to help our communities. At a time when our medical service providers and firehouses are facing funding and labor shortages, this bill would aid in increasing recruitment and retention rates, said Walsh. Relieving these courageous volunteers from paying income taxes should be our way of saying thank you for keeping our communities safe.