[Adopted 7-11-2006 by L.L. No. 2-2006]
The Town Board recognizes the roles of the volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers in securing the safety and well-being of our communities. The Town Board hereby finds that it is in the best interests of the Town of Waterford to encourage volunteerism for said purposes. The New York State Legislature has amended the Real Property Tax Law, in § 466-g, to authorize the Town to permit enrolled volunteer firefighters and volunteer ambulance workers to be eligible for a level of real property tax exemption. To that end, by providing the following exemption it is the intent to so encourage volunteerism for our various fire and ambulance companies.
Real property owned by an individual who has been an enrolled member of an incorporated volunteer fire company, fire department or incorporated voluntary ambulance service in the Town of Waterford and who resides in the Town of Waterford shall be exempt from taxation to the extent of 10% of the assessed value of such property for Town purposes, exclusive of special assessments; provided, however, that such exemption shall in no event exceed $3,000 multiplied by the latest state equalization rate for the assessing unit in which such real property is located.
Such exemption shall not be granted to an enrolled member of an incorporated volunteer fire company, fire department or incorporated voluntary ambulance service residing in the Town unless:
The applicant resides in the Town of Waterford, which is served by such incorporated volunteer fire company, fire department or incorporated ambulance service;
The property is the primary residence of the applicant;
The property is used exclusively for residential purposes; provided, however, that in the event any portion of such property is not used exclusively for the applicant's residence but is used for other purposes, such portion shall be subject to taxation and the remaining portion only shall be entitled to the exemption provided by this section; and
The incorporated volunteer fire company, fire department or incorporated voluntary ambulance service has certified that the applicant has been an enrolled member of such incorporated voluntary fire company, fire department or incorporated voluntary ambulance service for at least five years and remains an active enrolled member.
Application for such exemption shall be filed with the Assessor on or before the taxable status date on a form as prescribed by the State Board.
No applicant who is a volunteer firefighter or volunteer ambulance worker who by reason of such status is receiving any benefit under the provisions of this article on the effective date of this section shall suffer any diminution of such benefit because of the provisions of this section.