ALBANY — On Monday, Assemblywoman Marjorie Byrnes (R,-Caledonia) helped introduce legislation  with Assemblyman Chris Tague (R-Schoharie) that would free volunteer firefighters and emergency medical services (EMS) personnel from paying state income taxes.

In order to be eligible for the income tax exemption, firefighters and EMS volunteers must:

· Be in good standing

· Have at least one year of service minimum

· Complete all New York state mandated training courses

· Be certified by the chief emergency service coordinator of their county

· Attend at least 55 percent of activities

“Fire departments and EMS providers are struggling to recruit additional volunteers, and lack adequate funding to stay open. This bill would provide incentives to increase recruitment and retention rates throughout the state,” said Byrnes.

“Firefighters and EMS volunteers are vital, especially in rural communities that cannot afford hiring full-time labor. Their volunteer service saves New York state $3.87 billion every year. I commend Assemblyman Tague for introducing this meaningful piece of legislation, and I hope to see it swiftly become law.”