Town of North Salem passes resolution for real estate tax reduction for first responders
The North Salem Town Board, at its July 11 meeting, passed a resolution granting a real estate property tax exemption for volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers. State law grants municipalities the option to provide a property tax exemption of up to 10 percent of the assessed value of residential property owned and used by volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers.
Town Supervisor Warren Lucas estimated that the law would have a very minimal financial impact on the town. “It’s going to cost us somewhere between $6 - $9 thousand dollars,” Lucas said. He contrasted that cost with the amount that the Town has to pay to fund ambulance coverage each weekend, due to a shortage of volunteers. That amount he estimated to be over $100 thousand dollars yearly. Lucas expressed hope that the tax exemption would incentivize more individuals to become volunteer members of the fire department and ambulance corps, both of which are facing significant shortages.
To be eligible for the tax exemption, the first responders must have two years of service and be in good standing with their respective organization. Members with 20 or more years of service will be eligible for a lifetime exemption.
“This is something that I think is very reasonable, and hopefully can get us a few more volunteers,” Lucas said.
The exemption will be effective beginning with the 2025 tax year.