Monday, Assemblyman Angelo J. Morinello attended a press conference in Albany today unveiling a bill (A.7655) to make volunteer firefighters and EMS volunteers exempt from paying state income taxes. There are around 100,000 volunteer firefighters in the state, saving us $3.87 billion each year. It’s difficult for volunteer fire departments to recruit and retain a strong volunteer base. The Assembly Minority’s bill would help incentivize more men and women to volunteer and stay with their department long term.
To be eligible for this tax exemption, volunteers must:
•Be in good standing
•Have one year minimum of service
•Be certified by the chief emergency service coordinator of their county
•Have completed New York state’s mandated training courses
•Attend at least 55% of their department’s annual calls
“The bill proposed by our conference today is a step in the right direction toward giving back to our volunteer firefighters and EMS workers who sacrifice so much for their community,” said Morinello. “Each day, volunteers give up time with their families and busy lives to answer the call of duty. Our proposal would ensure they have fully functional firehouses, ambulances and equipment to help them do their job and return home safely. I’m confident this bill will increase recruitment efforts and establish a consistent volunteer base in New York state. I’m calling on my colleagues in the Legislature to advance this bill through committee to a vote in the Senate and Assembly.”