In a recent decision, the Ontario County Board of Supervisors approved a partial property tax exemption for volunteer firefighters and ambulance personnel, aimed at incentivizing and acknowledging their contributions.
According to the Finger Lakes Times, the measure was passed with only one dissenting vote from City of Canandaigua Supervisor David Baker, who raised concerns over the lack of stringent eligibility criteria. While recognizing the need for more volunteers in emergency services, he expressed skepticism about the tax break benefiting individuals without active roles in emergency response, like social members of these organizations.
He compared this lack of verification with other exemptions that require proof, such as those for seniors or veterans. Despite Baker’s reservations, the exemption, which only applies to county property taxes and not school taxes, offers a 10% reduction for eligible volunteers.
The law signifies a proactive approach by the board to address the growing challenges in volunteer recruitment for critical emergency services in the county.
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