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| February 17, 2005
Legislator Gonsalves Approves Revised Property Tax Exemptions for Volunteer Fire Fighters
Nassau County Legislator Norma L. Gonsalves (R-East Meadow) sponsored legislation which revised the 2002 property tax exemption law for volunteer fire fighters and emergency medical technicians. Members of local fire departments and ambulance corps who have served for a minimum of five years will receive a 10% exemption on their Nassau County property tax. In addition, members who have 20 years of service will receive this exemption for the remainder of his or her life. "The brave members of our fire departments and ambulance corps deserve to see real savings on their Nassau County property tax bill," said Legislator Gonsalves.
Due to a cap, the prior legislation only allowed for marginal savings due to a formula involving the local equalization rate. As a result of the cap, fire fighters who took advantage of the exemption only realized about $2.33 in savings. "The intent of the legislation was there, we just needed to work out the details so our County's volunteer fire fighters and emergency medical technicians could start seeing some real savings," said Legislator Gonsalves. The new legislation, which is permitted by an amendment to state law, removes the cap. Therefore, department members with a minimum five years service can expect to save approximately $167.11 on their County property tax bill.
Currently, there are 3020 volunteer fire fighters and ambulance technicians who applied for the existing exemption, these residents will not have to reapply to receive the new level of exemptions. "The volunteer fire fighters and ambulance technicians in Nassau County provide a vital service to us all. We should make every effort to aid these lifesavers whenever possible. I urge all residents interested in becoming a volunteer to contact their local fire departments," added Legislator Gonsalves.