Clifton Park firefighters denied tax credit

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Clifton Park volunteer firefighters are banding together after some were denied a state approved 10% property tax exemption. This is now the second time they’ve been denied and today they let the public know how critical this exemption is to recruit and retain fire services in the community.

Attorney Tim Hannigan, who helped write the law, says the volunteer firefighter is entitled to a 10% real property tax exemption off of the accessed valuation of their home for purposes of paying property taxes. Hannigan says for most homeowners that’s probably between $500-$800 per year. 

Hannigan says the Town Assessor, Walter Smead, has the power to grant the exemption. Those who’ve been denied, live outside the district they provide fires services for. For example, a person who lives in the Jonesville area but volunteers for Vischer Ferry Fire have been denied the exemption.

“The issue here is the assessor had taken an overly narrow read on how to apply the law and it’s a read that even the supervisor doesn’t agree with, said Hannigan. This was designed to be a recruitment of retention initiative and it’s something beneficial to entice other people to be volunteer firefighters.”

The volunteers say they are hoping Smead will have a change of heart. They are giving him a week before they pursue legal action.