[Adopted 2-14-2006 by L.L. No. 1-2006]
This article is to provide a 10% exemption to the assessment on real property owned by members of volunteer fire departments and voluntary ambulance services in the Town of Chester.
This article is adopted pursuant to § 466-f of the New York State Real Property Tax Law to provide a 10% real property tax exemption for qualified members of volunteer fire departments and volunteer ambulance services. Members of volunteer fire departments and ambulance services provide valuable services to the people of Orange County. In order to be certified and recertified, such volunteers must undertake numerous hours of training on their own time and frequently at their own expense. The purpose of this exemption is to maintain the ranks of the volunteer corps and encourage volunteers to join. The enabling legislation enacted by the state legislation requires that a local law be adopted by any municipality that determines to provide for such exemption.
As used in this article the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- LIFETIME TAX EXEMPTION
- The aforesaid tax exemption provided to a person who has been an enrolled member of an incorporated volunteer fire company, fire department or incorporated voluntary ambulance service with active service for 20 years prior to submitting an application for such tax exemption and has obtained a certificate from such organization certifying to such membership and such active service, which tax exemption shall be provided to such member for the remainder of such member's life as long as such member's primary residence is located within the Town of Chester, Orange County, New York.
- QUALIFIED MEMBERS
- An individual who has been an enrolled member of an incorporated volunteer fire company, fire department or incorporated voluntary ambulance service for five years prior to submitting an application for tax exemption and has obtained a certificate from such organization certifying to such membership and to participation and/or attendance levels established for such qualification.
- TAX EXEMPTION
- Ten percent of the assessed value of the real property constituting the applicant's primary residence for Town purposes exclusive of special assessments, which exemption shall not exceed $3,000 multiplied by the latest equalization rate available for the assessing unit in which such real property is located.
A qualified member of an incorporated volunteer fire company, fire department or incorporated voluntary ambulance service shall be afforded a tax exemption as herein defined, provided that:
Such qualified member resides in the Town that is served by such incorporated volunteer fire company, fire department or incorporated voluntary ambulance service;
The property upon which such qualified member is seeking this exemption is the primary residence of such qualified member and such property is used exclusively for residential purposes; to the extent such property has uses other than residential, such exemption shall apply only to the residential portion of such property; and
Such qualified member files the aforesaid certificate annually with the applicable assessor's office on or before the taxable status date on forms to be provided by the State Board of Real Property Services.