Ulster County Legislature Moves to Provide Tax Exemptions for Volunteer Firefighters and Volunteer Ambulance Workers

Posted February 10, 2023

(Kingston, NY) – Resolution No. 6 of 2023 was unanimously adopted at last night’s meeting of the Ulster County Legislature’s Standing Committee on Laws, Rules & Government Services. This Resolution sets a public hearing on Proposed Local Law Number 1 of 2023, which will offer a real property tax exemption of up to ten percent to volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers, beginning in 2024. 

“Since the governor signed this bill into law in late December 2022, we in the Legislature immediately started the process to give this exemption to our volunteers as soon as possible. Our firefighters risk their lives in service to our communities and neighbors. We also encourage Ulster County towns and all other entities authorized by the state legislation to provide the same measure of tax relief to these selfless men and women as a thankful gesture for their civic engagement,” said Legislator Kevin Roberts (District 12 – Plattekill), the author of Local Law Number 1 of 2023.  

Following passage of state legislation in late 2022, the Ulster County Legislature acted expediently to ensure municipalities are able to provide this relief as soon as possible in the coming year. Under the local law the County will provide an exemption of ten percent on its real property tax levy for volunteers’ primary residences beginning on January 1, 2024. Additionally, towns and villages with volunteer departments can opt in to provide the exemption as well.  

In addition to providing a reduction in the property tax levy for active volunteers, those who have given at least 20 years of service to their fire company will be eligible for a lifetime exemption so long as they remain in their primary residence. Widows of deceased volunteers will also be eligible to claim their spouse’s exemption under certain circumstances. 

“This county tax relief opportunity will not only encourage those to join their local department but also incentivize people to continue volunteering. Ulster County has a strong tradition on volunteer fire and ambulance service and we rely heavily on these brave individuals in our community.” said Majority Leader Jonathan Heppner (District 23 – Woodstock & West Hurley), the sponsor of the Local Law. 

“This legislation grants Ulster County the opportunity to bring new members to our hardworking fire departments and ambulatory services and thank the volunteers who risk their lives to protect ours,” concluded Legislator Roberts

The Public Hearing will be held on Tuesday, March 8, 2023 at 7:10 PM in the Legislative Chambers, 6th Floor, County Office Building, 244 Fair Street, Kingston. Full text of the Local Law Number 1 is available HERE or by contacting the Office of the Clerk of the Legislature at (845)-340-3900. Please see attachment for copy in Spansih.