On Wednesday May 22nd, legislation co-introduced by State Representative Dave Yaccarino (R-87), HB 5125 ‘An Act Increasing the Property Tax Abatement for Certain First Responders’ was unanimously passed the House of Representatives. On Tuesday, June 4, the bill was passed unanimously out of the Senate and now heads to the governor’s desk to be signed into law.
The proposal would allow towns to increase the property tax abatement available to volunteer firefighters and other first responders at a level higher than the current $1,000. Under the legislation the abatement would be scheduled to increase to $1,500 in 2020 and to $2,000 in 2022. This will be optional for towns and would enable them to both attract and do a little more for our dedicated volunteers.
“We have over 26,000 active firefighters in Connecticut. About 22,000 of these are volunteers – over 80 percent. This bill provides a municipal option that increases the personal property tax abatement for those who volunteer and serve our communities up to $1500,” said Rep. Yaccarino. “Finding and retaining volunteer firefighters is a very difficult process and this bill seeks to offer an incentive to assist our communities to ensure the safety of our residents. These men and women provide a valuable service to all of our communities.”
In a public hearing on the legislation North Haven Fire Chief Paul Januszewski commented, “Serious consideration needs to be given to increasing the cap on the property tax abatement in order to recruit and retain volunteer firefighters and first responders throughout Connecticut. Cities and towns throughout Connecticut should feel compelled to ensure their respective emergency services are properly staffed and supported.”
Personnel covered by this legislation would include local emergency management directors, firefighters and fire police officers, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, civil preparedness staff and search and rescue.
Rep. Yaccarino can be reached by phone at 1(800) 842-1423 or by email at [email protected] for questions and concerns regarding state government.