DeStefano Calls for Increased Incentives for Firefighters & EMS Volunteers

Today, Assemblyman Joe DeStefano (R,C,I,Ref-Medford) 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.

Currently, there are around 100,000 volunteer firefighters in New York state who volunteer their time with little incentive. Without these courageous volunteers, New York would have to shell out $3.87 billion a year to hire and pay full-time firefighters and would be forced to increase New York’s property taxes by 26.5 percent to cover the costs.

“Our firefighters and EMS volunteers are the cornerstones of our communities. They provide essential services with little incentives. This bill would finally reward these courageous volunteers for protecting our communities and encourage others to join their local department during a time when they are experiencing labor shortages,” said DeStefano. “It’s time we compensate these brave volunteers and pass legislation that proves we value their service to their communities. I commend Assemblyman Tague for introducing this meaningful piece of legislation.”