Skip to main content

Schenectady County Legislature Encourages Eligible Volunteer Firefighters and Ambulance Workers to Apply for Property Tax Exemption

Volunteer Firefighters at a Building Fire

Filing Deadline is March 1, 2024 for Benefits Beginning in 2025

The Schenectady County Legislature encourages volunteer firefighters and EMS workers to apply for the County’s expanded property tax exemption. Eligible volunteers can file an application for the exemption with their local assessor. Applications must be received by March 1, 2024 to be eligible for the expanded property tax exemption starting in January 2025. Applications are available at

Last year, the Legislature passed Local Law No. 1-2023, which expanded the county’s property tax exemption to the maximum allowed for members of volunteer fire departments and volunteer ambulance services with a minimum of two years of service.

Volunteer firefighters and EMS workers play a vital role in ensuring the safety of our communities,” said Schenectady County Legislator Anthony Jasenski, Chair of the Firefighting & EMS Committee. “We expanded the property tax exemption to show our thanks for the dedication and courage these volunteers display while protecting lives and property during emergencies. Eligible volunteers are encouraged to apply before the deadline to ensure they receive the acknowledgment they deserve for their commitment to the health and safety of our residents.”

Previously in Schenectady County, volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers with at least five years of service could apply for a 10% property tax exemption for up to $3,000 in assessed home value or they can apply for a $200 tax credit through New York State.[1] A recently authorized NYS law allows local municipalities, including counties, to expand the property tax exemption up to a maximum of 10% of the total assessed value of an eligible volunteer’s primary residence.

Pursuant to section 466-a of the New York State Real Property Tax Law, to be eligible for the property tax exemption, volunteers must live in the city, town or village that is served by the fire company, fire department or incorporated ambulance service they serve with.

Supporting Local First Responders

The property tax expansion is just one of the initiatives sponsored by the Schenectady County Legislature to support local first responders.

Schenectady County Fire Service Improvement Grant Fund

In 2023, the County Legislature awarded 22 volunteer and combined fire departments with a total of $440,000 in grant funding, an increase in their annual $50,000 appropriation to the County’s Fire Service Improvement Grant Fund. The Legislature awarded over $200,000 in additional funding to local departments from 2019-2022 through the grant, which was created to enhance the departments’ capabilities in response to the impact and magnitude of unusual storms, natural disasters, and every day responses have on their resources.

Supporting Local EMS
In 2022, the County Legislature granted $50,000 to the Duanesburg Volunteer Ambulance Corps (DVAC) and $150,000 to Rotterdam Emergency Medical Services (REMS) to help cover expenses incurred due to the pandemic.

Land Donation to DVAC

The County Legislature donated a tax foreclosed property to DVAC in January. The parcel, which is adjacent to DVAC’s 130 Cole Road property in Delanson includes a house, which will be used for administrative offices, training space, and lodging for first responders.

Become a Volunteer Firefighter or EMS Worker

Volunteer departments depend on members of the community to help during times of crisis. While firefighters and EMS workers are the primary emergency responders for many neighborhoods throughout Schenectady County, there are many other volunteer opportunities available to help departments respond to fire alarms, rescue and medical calls, and help their communities through environmental and natural disasters. Learn more about becoming a volunteer firefighter or EMS worker in Schenectady County at

Follow @SchenectadyCounty on Facebook or visit for the latest information on Schenectady County programs and events.