Crouch Shows Support for Tax Credit for Volunteer Firefighters
Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch (R-Bainbridge) joined his colleagues on Monday unveiling legislation that would grant volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel a state income tax exemption. A.7655 was recently introduced by Assembly Minority member Chris Tague (R,C,I, Ref-Schoharie) aiming to reward volunteer firefighters and EMS workers for their service and a recruiting measure to help bolster dwindling statewide volunteer firefighter numbers.
To qualify, volunteers must:
Be in good standing
Have one year minimum of service
Completed all New York State mandated training courses
Be certified by the chief emergency service coordinator of their respective county
Attend at least 55% of annual calls
Volunteer fire departments save taxpayers in New York roughly $3 billion each year. In recent years there has been a serious drop in recruitment numbers. Crouch and the Assembly Minority hope A.7655 will encourage a new recruitment surge of young individuals willing to serve the community for the benefit.
I think we should be helping our volunteer firefighters in any way we can, said Crouch. These individuals put their life on the line for our safety every day and ask nothing in return. Anyway we can repay them for their service should be explored. Many of our rural towns and villages cannot afford to fund paid fire departments. Its imperative we continue to bolster our volunteer firefighter numbers here in the Southern Tier and Statewide.