Senator Gallivan Sponsors Legislation to Increase Tax Credit for Volunteer Firefighters & EMS

Jim Ranney

February 9, 2024

Effort Will Help Recruit and Retain Volunteers

Senator Patrick M. Gallivan (R-C, Elma) is co-sponsoring legislation (S.7286) that would increase the state’s personal income tax credit for volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers from $200 to $800 for individuals and from $400 to $1600 for eligible married joint filers. The tax credit was implemented in 2007 but has never been raised. 

The increase was recommended by the Volunteer Firefighter Recruitment and Retention Task Force convened by the State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services in 2022.

“Communities across New York State rely on the lifesaving services provided by volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel, but many of these agencies face challenges in recruiting and retaining members,” Senator Gallivan said.  “Raising the income tax credit for these brave men and women is long overdue and may encourage others to join the ranks of their local fire company.”

Most rural and small communities depend on volunteer agencies to provide fire protection and emergency medical services. According to a study by the Firemen’s Association of the State of New York, volunteer firefighters alone save the state more than $4.7 billion each year.

Senator Gallivan is also co-sponsoring legislation to improve the state’s 911 system:

  • Bill S.4583A would require the state to offer a Next Generation 911 Network. The enhanced system would use the latest technology to reduce response time, improve communication, increase accessibility, and enhance location accuracy. The network would be funded through dedicated 911 surcharge, which already exists.
  • Bill S.4560 would change existing law which has allowed proceeds from the 911 surcharge to be diverted to the state’s general fund. The change would ensure the revenue is used for its intended purposes and would support implementation of Next Generation 911.  




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