Submitted photo, press release and video:
In support of National EMS Week, Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) joined Assembly Minority colleagues at a press conference held by Assemblyman Chris Tague (R,C,I,Ref-Schoharie) today in Albany to unveil legislation that would exempt volunteer firefighters and EMS workers from state income taxes (A.7655).
Hawley, a veteran and longtime member of the Assembly’s Veterans’ Affairs Committee, has introduced similar legislation to provide tax relief for active duty service members (A.1956).
“The upcoming Memorial Day weekend is just one example where volunteer firefighters and EMS will be working around the clock, spending precious time away from their families, to protect our community in the face of dangerous situations,” Hawley said.
“Sadly, more and more volunteer fire companies are being forced to close their doors, leaving their neighbors without the precious services they provide and we need to do something about it. These dedicated and brave individuals deserve our help and I implore Assembly leadership and our colleagues in the Majority to join us in getting this passed before session adjourns next month."
To be eligible for the state income tax exemption, a volunteer must:
- Be in good standing;
- Have a minimum year of service with the fire department;
- Be certified by the Chief Emergency Service Coordinator of their county;
- Attend at least 55 percent of department activities.