Tuesday, May 01, 2007

TWN BD SETS HEARING FOR MAY 23RD on volunteer fire and ambulance corp exemptions

The Greenburgh Town Board unanimously voted to set a public hearing for May 23rd at 7:15 PM to provide tax exemptions for members of volunteer fire depts and ambulance companies.
The exemption amount: 10% exemptions on the town portion of the town tax and on special districts (water, fire and park). Example of exemption for volunteers for town tax purposes: For those who have an average assessed value of $15,000 --a village resident will save about $10.32. For volunteers who reside in the unincorporated section of Greenburgh - the average exemption will be $181.13.
Volunteers must be active members of a volunteer fire/ambulance dept for at least 5 years.


Anonymous said...

I think this law is very fair. Especially considering that in order to qualify you must be a for 5 years. That will certainly discourage a massive flow of new volunteers while rewarding those who selflessly donate their time.

Michael Kolesar said...

Dear Mr. Supervisor,

Thanks for the initial outline. How many individuals are expected to qualify, based upon existing exemptions or other data and if you know many, what is the approximate assessed value of the property that they own?

In your example, did you include for volunteers in the unincorporated area of the Town, both their "A" and "B" tax savings or just their "B" savings? Can you or the assessor make whatever analysis has been prepared available to the public by download from the Town web site ( a simple spreadsheet would do)?

Anonymous said...

This is crazy!!!!!!!!!!1
we do not have volunteer ambulance workers in the unincorparated area. We have the Police Dept that run the EMS. And is a $10 savings worth it?

Anonymous said...

Anything for a photo-op, a sound bite or the chance to say "I cut taxes" is worth it to Mr. Feiner. Common sense? That's for commoners, not our Emperor.

Anonymous said...

I would like Mr. Feiner to stop pandering to the villages. But he wont

Feiner proposal needlessly divisive said...

This is another very bad and ill-considered Feiner proposal that is extremely unfair to literally thousands of taxpayers in Greenburgh. It is also contrary to what the state legislature had in mind.

The state legislature mandated that the property tax exemption be available only for those districts which employ five or fewer full-time firefighters and/or ambulance corp members.

The reason for this express limitation is that the legislature recognized that those who live in fire or ambulance districts that employ five or more full-time firefighters and/or ambulance corp members generally pay higher taxes as it is - the legislature recognized that they should not therefore be burdened further with having to subsidize tax relief being doled out to those districts which do not employ five or more full-time firefighers and/or ambulance corp members.

Therefore, for those communities in New York, like Greenburgh, for which the property tax exemption won't work across the board, New York State last year adopted a $200 personal income tax credit for volunteer firefighters and volunteer emergency personnel.

The only catch is that if the volunteers take the personal income tax exemption, they can't also take the property tax exemption should it be offered.

There are at least three fire districts in Greenburgh -- Greenville,Fairview and Hartsdale -- which employ five or more full-time firefighters. There are tens of thousands of Greenburgh residents served by these three fire districts alone.

The town board should reject Feiner's proposal because it not only discriminates against the tens of thousands of area residents who live in the Greenville,Fairview and Hartsdale fire districts, but it forces them to pay higher property taxes to subsidize the property tax relief being given elsewhere in town.

This is very bad policy and, in light of the state's having come to Greenburgh's rescue by having created the personal income tax exemption for all volunteer firefighters and emergency workers, it is completely unnecessary.

That Feiner persists in supporting it shows that, rather than do what common sense in this situation dictates, he'd much rather pit one group of Greenburgh taxpayers against another.

Isn't it time Greenburgh put an end to the politics of divisiveness?

Anonymous said...

Why should the Town incur not only the expense but the administrative headache of monitoring this? Why isnt the state credit enough (or actually better)?

Anonymous said...

Paul Feiner voted yes
Steve Bass voted yes
Diana Juettner voted yes
Eddie Mae Barnes voted yes
Francis Sheehan voted yes
Sorry, anonymous. The law probably will be approved. It should be approved.

Anonymous said...

This is just another example of the town council passing costs off on a minority (those with paid firemen). I wish the villages would leave. I am tired of subsidizing them. I want Juettner off, and off now, as liaosn to parks and the library. I want the firemens privildges at veterans revoked.

Anonymous said...

I agree with anonymous 3:08. We should get 3 new board members this year and let the villages take care of themselves. why should the villages get a paramedic servive so much cheaper than if you live in the town? a civilian paramedic that works in the villages under the police dept makes 45-55,000 dollars and a police officer paramedic makes 90,000 or more. plus when they go the hospital we lose a police officer 1 -2 hrs does'nt make sense.

Feiner never learns said...

Feiner is evidently scrambling for political cover by suggesting, falsely, that the town board voted unanimously for this proposal is playing fast and loose with the truth.

No votes were taken yesterday on anything; nor could any votes have been taken.

What took place was that the town board agreed yesterday to have the matter discussed at a public hearing. Agreeing to have the matter heard at a public hearing does not mean that the proposal will pass.

In fact, given how needessly divisive and unnecessary this proposal really is, about the only one likely to vote in favor of it is Feiner himself.

Only Feiner would be foolishly arrogant enough to insist on supporting a measure that pits one group of taxpayers against another -- even after the state has approved an alternative which would be fair to everyone and avoid this problem.

Anonymous said...

this is for Michael Kolesar and anonymous behind him. Do you think it is crazy to have Dobbs Ferry, Ardsley,Irvington,Tarrytown,
Elmsford, Sleepy Hollow and Hastings Fire Depts respond for a routine house fire ? I'm not as smart as you, but I do. It just shows, that these departments are under staffed.

Ardsley Fire Dept Facts said...

in ardsley, as a general rule, paid firefighters are not called in to assist. the village relies on the volunteer units in the neighboring villages for all fires, day or night. there are two fire districts in unincorporated greenburgh that apparently rely on the ardsley fire dept - south ardsley and chauncey fire protection districts. the residents of these areas are taxed for this fire protection service. nothing wrong with that. Again, since it seems the village or ardsley does not rely on paid firemen, the issue of "a lack of reimbursement" for this mutual aid is a red herrring. As the claim that ardsley did not come to the aid at the seely place fire - first, where they asked? second, paid firemen have a bias against volunteers and generally dont ask for their help.

Anonymous said...

Heah, if Ardsley wants a volunteer fire department thats up to them and fine by me. JUST STOP ASKING ME TO PAY FOR THEIR VOLUNTEERS AND MY PAID FIREMEN. If there really isnt mutual cooperation between the village (volunteer) and unincorporated paid firemen, stop asking me to pay for the volunteers. No tax rebates, no Veteran priviledge etc.

time for facts not emotion said...

dear anon at 4:01:

Unless you live in south ardsley or the chauncey fire protection districts you dont pay for any of ardsley's volunteers. It seems these two districts are outside the village of ardsley. so you have choices - create your own volunteer brigade or hire/or pay for professionals - if you dont do that you have to pay for the services ardsley provides to those outside its borders in the same manner elmsford paid greenburgh for the library (and now pays ardsley's library). your complaint should be made with the town board who seems to be giving tax breaks to volunteers in unincorporated greenburgh even tho state law already gives them a tax break and by doing so, your greenburgh taxes will increase as you have to make up the shortfall. i might add that most of unincorporated greenburgh pays for professional firefighters so you are taxed for that too. thats why the new rebate sought by the town board is unfair if not unwise.its election season and the pandering is only going to get worse.

Michael Kolesar said...

Dear Anonymous 5/2/07 3:38 PM

Any reason you won't identify yourself so we can have an open, civil exchange?

As to your question, since I am not a volunteer firefighter nor am I privledged to have any "inside" data, I can only assume that there was something unusual about this incident to call for these various companies to respond. I do know that the Ardsley Engine Company was in the midst of a blood donation effort that afternoon.

To Anonymous 5/2 4:01 PM,

Just a reminder that in the case of the Ardsley Engine Company, of the total assessed value of property that it protects, approximately 32% lies in unincorportaed Greenburgh. It doesn't protect just Ardsley. Ask the family in unincorporated Greenburgh that was pulled from their burning home in February 2006 by the Ardsley Chief.

Bottom line, if the Town Council wants to rescind any "benefits", it's their call. I might not look for votes in Ardsley, but that's their issue.

Anonymous said...

Mike, the reason only Feiner supporters identify themselves is that everyone else knows how nasty Feiner can be with people who come out agaisnt hime publicly.

So part of the AFD is in unincorporatd Greenburgh. Big deal, the AFD is still asking the town to supsidize volunteers. Which is divisive, and just plain ridiculous, given the state provides and alternative benefit which is equal or greater.

More fire facts said...

This business about Ardsley not generally calling in paid firefighters to assist doesn't ring true.

A week or so ago there was a gas leak in Ardsley, there was no one manning the Ardsley Fire Department, and full-time professionals in Greenville (Edgemont) were called in to deal with the situation.

The professional firefighters from Greenville had the entire matter completely under control by the time any volunteers from Ardsley arrived.

Anonymous said...

So you're telling me the reason you guys don't reveal yourselves if you're not a supporter of the supervisor is because you're afraid of him coming after you?

LOL haha ha ah aha ha ha ha a

Okay, you make Feiner sound like the monster under the bed or something..........

He's not Stalin now....heck he's not even Bush!

Anonymous said...

PREDICTION: The entire Town Bd will unanimously vote for the tax breaks. The volunteers deserve the breaks. Not one member of the town bd expressed opposition to giving the tax benefits to the volunteers.
The members of the town bd should be congratulated for doing the right thing--and standing up to people who object to everything and won't put their names next to their objections.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Town Bd for doing the right thing--setting a hearing and expressing support for this legislation. Don't listen to anonymous critics.

Ardsley vs. "Ardsley" said...

The gas leak was on Ardsley Road in Greenburgh not in Ardsley. Despite the fact that portion of Greenburgh is in the South Ardsley Fire Protection District, the Weschester County Fire Dispatch erroneously called out Greenville. When the error was noted, Ardsley was rightfully called. Of course, Greenville was already on site.

Feiner should stop this pandering said...

Feiner is blogging that the town board supports granting the property exemption when he knows that's not the case because he wants to stir up as much anger and misinformation among volunteer firefighters and emergency workers as he can.

His objective is to do here what he so often does when pandering to specific interest groups. He tells them that they have a legal right -- an entitlement -- to some benefit that he will say the town board made a promise to provide -- which he knows it never had -- and then, when he's gotten enough volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers to show up at the hearing, he'll get them as angry as he can by publicly announcing that all the town board members are now reneging on the promise except for him.

Feiner used the same formula in an effort to goad the town board into agreeing to re-negotiate the West HELP agreement with the Valhalla School District. There, even though the state comptroller said the town's $6.5 million gift to Valhalla was illegal, and found that Feiner's rationale for having entered into it in the first place had no evidentiary basis, Feiner told the Greenburgh residents of the Valhalla School District that they had a legal right to this money that the town board was trying to take away from them.

Feiner is doing the same thing here with the property exemption. He knows full well that the proposal doesn't work in Greenburgh without discriminating against tens of thousands of Greenburgh taxpayers who live in fire districts that employ paid professionals and he knows full well that the state legislature remedied the problem for towns like Greenburgh by creating an across the board personal income tax credit of $200 for all volunteer firefighter and emergency workers -- that went into effect this year.

Feiner knows all of this, but rather that be a responsible elected official, he persists in creating misinformation in order to get the volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers who would otherwise qualify for the property tax exemption as angry as possible.

Town board members meanwhile are getting an earful from those taxpayers who know this proposal is bad.

The purpose of the town board hearing is to give everyone a chance to be heard. This blog is no substitute for that hearing. Everyone who steps forward to speak at the public hearing will be publicly identified because the law requires that they be identified.

The decision to be made following the hearing is not a decision to be made based on how many supporters show up on one side or the other. Even if only one person shows up for or against, and Feiner packs the room with supporters of his position, as he's done in the past,town board members must do what's in the best interest of the entire town and resist the temptation to give special benefits to a few.

Feiner, of course, is not playing on the same page. His effort is a cynical attempt to curry favor with an interest group he hopes will be angry enough to come out and vote for him.

Anonymous said...

Feiner using misinformation? Nothing new on that front. He did the same thing two years ago when he tried, unsuccessfully, to defeat Edgemont's school budget. The same guy from Edgemont that's running his re-election campaign today had mailed letters two years ago to Edgemont residents making false and misleading statements about Edgemont's teachers. When confronted with the truth, he refused to correct what was said.

For him and for Feiner, winning isn't everything, it's the only thing. That may work for Rove and George W, but it didn't work for them in Edgemont and it won't for for them in Greenburgh either.

Michael Kolesar said...

Dear Anonymous 5/2/07 5:01 PM,

I hardly qualify as a Feiner supporter. My public record in the last primary addresses that.

The unwilliness to identify oneself is truly a shame. Either don't post (I'm sure one of the attorneys will jump all over me "Anonymously" for suggesting this) or be willing to accept the give and take of an open exchange. If one wants to have a private dialogue with me, there are many ways to do it. I made myself accessible to the public from the early days of my campaign and still get a lot a messages from concerned individuals on local issues.

Anonymous said...

Back to mutual aid, I never said Greenville wouldn't help Ardsley FD, I said Greenville doesn't get help from AFD. And even if it did, why do we in Greenville or Fairveiw have to pay twice for fire protection, once to paid firemen, and once for volunteers in neigboring district, particularly given the state provides an equivalent, if not better, benefit. The administration of the proposed property tax benefit will be time consuming and I question how it can be monitored (Will we require tax returns from volunteers, showing that they did not take the state income tax benefit? Will we check with the state? Who will do this?)

I wish Feiner would stop pandering to the villages (yes, including you Mr. Kolesar) and yes Feiner does go after people who are publicly agaisnt him.

Anonymous said...

You know what I think. A lot of you complain when the entire town board votes for something and then you want to pin it on the one individual you dislike the most being Feiner.

If the entire board voices support or votes for something I think people need to make a note of that when refuting "the cabal".

Anonymous said...

Ah, the "cabal."

Feiner's campaign manager two years ago used that word to refer to anyone in town who was critical of Feiner on anything -- they're all part of the same "cabal" that was out to get him he used to snarl.

I guess he's back.

Feiner misleading volunteers said...

The $200 personal income tax credit that is now available to all volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers -- and which was enacted to help towns like Greenburgh for which the property tax exemption wouldn't work -- covers many more people and doesn't require volunteers to wait five years before the benefit kicks in.

Unlike the property tax exemption, which only applies to volunteers who have worked for five years, the income tax credit kicks in provided the volunteer works as a volunteer for the entire year.

This new state benefit was sponsored by the Fireman's Association of the State of New York, which is the voice of New York's volunteer fire service.

For unscrupulous politicians like Paul Feiner, who are trying to mislead the volunteers and pretend to be in denial that this new state benefit even exists, here's what the new state law provides:

(e-1) Volunteer firefighters' and ambulance workers' credit.
(1) For taxable years beginning on and after January 1st, 2007, a resident taxpayer who serves as an active volunteer firefighter as defined in subdivision 1 of section 215 of the General Municipal Law or as a volunteer ambulance worker as defined in subdivision 14 section 219k of the General Municipal Law shall be allowed a credit against the tax imposed by this article equal to $200. In order to receive this credit a volunteer firefighter or volunteer ambulance worker must have been active for the entire taxable year for which the credit is sought.
(2) If a taxpayer receives a real property tax exemption relating to such service under Title 2 of Article 4 of the Real Property Tax Law, such taxpayer shall not be eligible for this credit.
(3) If the amount of the credit allowed under this subsection for any taxable year shall exceed the taxpayer's tax for such year, the excess shall be treated as an overpayment of tax to be credited or refunded in accordance with the provisions of Section 686 of this Article, provided, however, that no interest shall be paid thereon.

If anyone wants any more information about it, check out the volunteer firemen's website, www.fasny.com.

If Feiner were sincere about trying to help in the effort to recruit more volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers, he'd be telling everyone about this new state benefit.

Instead, Feiner is doing all he can to be as divisiveness, misleading and downright nasty about this important issue as he can possibly be.

$200 is just a start said...

Here is a list of all the official benefits vounteers get - there are plenty of unoffical ones too

State Benefits: New York

Death One-Time:
A lump sum benefit of $50,000 is paid to the surviving spouse, or the estate if there is no surviving spouse.

Contact: New York State Workers' Compensation Board. 100 Broadway-Menands, Albany, NY 12241. Phone: (518) 474-6674. www.wcb.state.ny.us.
Workers Compensation:
Benefits are paid under the Volunteer Firefighters? Benefit Law. Volunteers are considered employees of the municipality for the purpose of Workers? Compensation. If the death occurred on or after July 1, 1992, a weekly benefit of $800 is paid to the surviving spouse with no dependent children. A surviving spouse with dependent children is entitled to smaller weekly cash benefits. Children are also entitled to weekly cash benefits. Upon remarriage, a spouse without dependent children is paid a lump sum ($83,200 as of FY 1992) and benefits terminate. A spouse with dependent children who remarries receives a smaller lump sum payment. Dependent children continue to receive weekly benefits when the spouse remarries.

Contact: New York State Workers' Compensation Board. 100 Broadway-Menands, Albany, NY 12241. Phone: (518) 474-6674. www.wcb.state.ny.us.

Maximum of $6,000 for burial expenses. If the firefighter dies from injuries received in the line of duty as a direct result of firefighting, the maximum may be increased.

Contact: New York State Workers' Compensation Board. 100 Broadway-Menands, Albany, NY 12241. Phone: (518) 474-6674. www.wcb.state.ny.us.


Child's Education:
Memorial Scholarships for families of deceased volunteer firefighters are awarded to full-time undergraduates at approved NY colleges/post-secondary institutions. To qualify for the award, the firefighter must have died as the result of an injury sustained in the line-of-duty. Memorial Scholarships are available for four years of full time undergraduate study or for five years in an approved five-year bachelor's degree program. Covers actual tuition or the State University of New York (SUNY) undergraduate tuition, whichever is less. Assistance is also available for non-tuition costs such as room and board with allowances for books, supplies, and transportation. If you are a financial dependent, you are eligible under this program.
Memorial Scholarship students attending institutions with tuition charges higher than SUNY charges may receive additional assistance through New York State?s Tuition Assistance Program.

Contact: New York State Higher Education Services Corporation. 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12255. Phone: (888) 697-4372. www.hesc.com.

Spouse's Education:
Memorial Scholarships for families of deceased volunteer firefighters are awarded to full-time undergraduates at approved NY colleges/post-secondary institutions. To qualify for the award, the firefighter must have died as the result of an injury sustained in the line-of-duty. Memorial Scholarships are available for four years of full time undergraduate study or for five years in an approved five-year bachelor's degree program. Covers actual tuition or the State University of New York (SUNY) undergraduate tuition, whichever is less. Assistance is also available for non-tuition costs such as room and board with allowances for books, supplies, and transportation. If you are a financial dependent, you are eligible under this program.
Memorial Scholarship students attending institutions with tuition charges higher than SUNY charges may receive additional assistance through New York State?s Tuition Assistance Program.

Contact: New York State Higher Education Services Corporation. 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12255. Phone: (888) 697-4372. www.hesc.com.

Support Organizations:
The Hundred Club of Westchester
c/o Westchester County Association
707 Westchester Avenue, #213
White Plains, NY 10604
(914) 948-6444
Serves White Plains and Westchester County. Spouse receives a one-time benefit of $2,500. Children up to age 18 receive $500 every year on birthdays and Christmas.

Education Local and regional training is available free of charge to firefighters in every county, except New York City, by trained emergency response personnel through the Office of Fire Prevention and Control.

Contact: New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control. 41 State Street, Albany, NY 12231-0001. Phone: (518) 474-6746. Fax: (518) 474-3240.

As a membership recruitment incentive, New York State offers college scholarships to men and women who join volunteer fire departments and ambulance squads.

Contact: New York State Higher Education Services Corporation. 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12255. Phone: (888) 697-4372. www.hesc.com.

Workers Compensation According to the New York State Volunteer Firefighters' Benefit Law, local municipalities must provide workers' compensation for volunteer firefighters who are injured in the line-of-duty or traveling to or from an emergency. Firefighters receive $400 monthly for permanent total disability, $125 for temporary total disability, and $95 monthly for permanent partial disability. There is no compensation for injuries received due to intoxication or willful intention of the firefighter to injure himself or another.

Funding The Office of Fire Prevention and Control offers an Emergency Services Revolving Loan Program with an annual fixed interest rate of 2.5 percent. They also administer the New York State Emergency Services Grant Fund, providing reimbursement for personal protective equipment, communications equipment, and accessory equipment.

Contact: New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control. 41 State Street, Albany, NY 12231-0001. Phone: (518) 474-6746. Fax: (518) 474-3240.

Health There is no state program. Some local jurisdictions provide annual physicals and blood-borne pathogen immunizations.

Legal Although there is no state benefit, several counties have a legal defense fund.

Malpractice The "Good Samaritan Volunteer Firefighters Assistance Act" provides immunity to fire departments who donate equipment to volunteer fire companies in the event of equipment malfunction.

Retirement Article 11-A of the General Municipal Law authorizes certain local governments in New York State to establish and sponsor length of service award programs (LOSAP's) for volunteer firefighters. These programs provide municipally funded pension like benefits based on an individual's length of volunteer firefighting service. The programs are established at local option and are administered at the local level. There appears to be more than 500 programs in operation with what we estimate to be over a quarter of a billion dollars invested in these programs by local governments on behalf of volunteer firefighters.

Service award programs for volunteer firefighters were authorized by legislation that became effective on September 1, 1989. The purpose of the legislation was to facilitate the recruitment and retention of volunteer firefighters.

Contact: New York State and Local Retirement System. 110 State Street, Albany, NY 12244-0001. Phone: (866) 805-0990. Fax: (518) 402-4433.

The Volunteer Firemen's Home is owned and operated by the Firemen's Association of the State of New York and is not owned or operated by New York State. Any person who has served the volunteer fire service for at least one year is eligible. The Home is there for indigent and disabled volunteer firefighters.

Contact: Firemen's Home of the State of New York. 125 Harry Howard Ave, Hudson, NY 12534. Phone: (800) 479-7695.

Tax There is no state benefit. However, municipalities may vote to provide a 10% deduction on local taxes.

Additional The Firemen?s Association of the State of New York gives volunteers the opportunity to join a federally insured, member-owned credit union. FASNY Federal Credit Union brings a full range of money-saving deposit and lending products and services

Contact: Firemen's Association of the State of New York. 107 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12210. Phone: (518) 434-3728).

Anonymous said...

Dear Feiner Misleading...How come you leave out the other members of the council (Bass, Barnes, Sheehan, Juettner) who also voted to schedule the hearing and who also support the proposed law?

Anonymous said...

None of the Town Board members, except for Feiner, have said whether they support the proposed property exemtion.

All they did was agree to schedule a public hearing.

By scheduling a public hearing, the Town board is saying it wants to hear from the public before it mades a decision.

By announcing ahead of time that he's voting in favor, come hell or high water, Feiner is saying that he could care less what any of us have to say at the public hearing -- unless of course we agree with him.

That sounds just like what George W would say.

VMcD said...

It is the first time I perouse the blog.
It amazes me the zealous opportunism of the professional Feiner haters.
It does seem that constant negativity is part of their natural make up. Their irrational rants let out the aside rationality and thrive in fallacies. This hate group seems to prosper in one-side views and is constantly despising local cooperation.
Take a deep breath and keep giving money to your compadres -all haters.
Sorry, they are all democrats and your repubs compadres have not much room in Greenburgh.

Paul Feiner said...

On this issue the Town Board has been working together, at least so far. No member of the Town Board has expressed any opposition to the proposed tax exemptions. In fact, we authorized the Assessor to start helping people with the forms, even before the hearing. The assessor cannot collect the applications till after the law is approved but the volunteer fire depts and ambulance depts are being encouraged to advise their members that the legislation could be approved on May 23rd.
There are some people out there who are trying to make this a political issue. I think there is a very slim possibility that the Town Board will reject this legislation---which has been approved by other localities around the state. This law was written by state lawmakers, approved by the NY State Senate, NY State Assembly and signed into law by the former Governor.
I predict that the legislation will be approved unanimously on May 23rd.

Anonymous said...

"professional" Feiner haters-- I dont thinkanyone is paid to hate Paul. I dont think anyone even hates Paul, they just dont support his half-baked ideas. And that he is announcing that he wont listen to others at a hearing is discouraging.

Anonymous said...


Can you explain to me why I have to pay taxes to my local paid fire department and support the AFD also?

What is your local FD?

These other places that have passed similiar legislation,did they also have some paid and some volunteer districts?

Michael Kolesar said...

Dear Anonymous 5/3/07 10:46 PM

Thank you for a very informative posting. On one very minor issue, which I hope you will check, there is one benefit that I think you missed, namely, that any payments from a LOSAP are currently exempt from State income taxes.

Anonymous said...

The only elected Greenburgh official who is trying to politicize the issue of these property tax exemptions for volunteer firefighters is Feiner.

The others haven't said anything, at least not publicly -- probably because, unlike Feiner, they're at least willing to wait and hear what the public has to say before making up their minds.

If Feiner would do his homework, he'd see that the only municipalties in New York State that have approved this legislation are municipalities that have volunteer fire departments or districts.

None of those municipalities are like Greenburgh, which has both volunteer districts and districts with five or more paid professionals.

For example, almost every Long Island town and village is protected by a volunteer fire district. There are no paid fire districts there.

Anonymous said...

I am tired of paying for AFD volunteers. No subsidies andno veterans memeberships

no free lunch for fire protection said...

dear anon at 10:48:

if you live in either the south ardsley fire district (as it appears feiner does) or the chauncey fire district (both districts being outisde the village of ardsley but protected by the all volunteer ardsley fire dept, why should you get a free ride for fire protection? Do you think the gasoline to run the fire engines is free? Do you think the fire equipment costs nothing to maintain?

Anonymous said...

I live in the Greenville fire district, and along with residents of the Hartsdale and Fairview districts we have paid fire fights. Thereis no free lunch, we pay salaries.

If the benefit wereto be paid by AFD, thatwould befine. Why should I pay for both? Oh, becuase Feiner says so.

Paul Feiner said...

I believe that the entire Town Board is in support of this legislation. That is the impression I had from the meeting. If anonymous bloggers feel that I am wrong they should ask the members of the council to identify themselves. I doubt that anonymous will find any member of the board who will state that he/she is against the exemption. For good reason: this is a good idea.
Is it possible that anonymous doesn't like it when we all agree?

Feiner polarizing and pandering again said...

dear "If the benefit wereto be paid by AFD, thatwould befine. Why should I pay for both? Oh, becuase Feiner says so. "

frankly this makes little sense. the state legislature has authorized a $200 income tax credit for volunteer fire/ambulance workers. to the extent this reduces statewide revenue, the shortfall is made up by all ny state taxpayers, whether they live in ardsley or cooperstown. this benefit, which was just enacted, provides that if you take the $200 credit you cannot take a property tax deduction (which is explained in detail on the "feiner misleading volunteers" blog post.

this whole issue is classic feiner - sow divisiveness througout the town and pit neighbor against neighbor. btw - have you seen any press releases from feiner trumpeting the $200 tax benefit for volunteers?

Anonymous said...

Hey "No free lunch for fire protection". get your facts straight Greenburgh alresdy pays the Ardsley Fd for the south end and chaucey fire districs
. This makes no sense for Greenburgh residenta to pay for this if it passes. I hope at least three members of the board come to thier senses before this misstake happens.

Feiner pretty scary said...

Feiner must think volunteers are idiots. The state offers a $200 credit and only one year of service to qualify - Feiner's proposal would result in a benefit less than that according to his blog post. Further, Feiner's proposal has a 5 year wait! Scary he has been in office 17 years.

Anonymous said...

I guess he figures they are either idiots or cheats (they will take both benis) -- and still wants to let them in our houses.

Anonymous said...

Lets look at everything Feiner wants for the volunteer firemen:

1. Veterans park memberships -- without residency.

2. The Waterwheel property for subsidized housing.

3. Break on property taxes.

Paul, some Town residents live in Fire districts where firemen are paid. This is really unfair.

Anonymous said...

The members of the Town Council may be in hiding today but a few days ago they were all for the fire and ambulance corp exemptions.
If any member of the Town Council won't support the exemptions they should have the decency of letting volunteers know today. Many volunteers have started to complete the forms the Town Board started to distribute.
TO THE TOWN COUNCIL MEMBERS: Don't let the nay sayers discourage you. Vote yes!

Anonymous said...

Maybe the concil members didnt know that volunteers have a choice of either the state income tax benefit OR the property tax benefit and are asking why should the town institute a program that costs money, incurs administation costs and is divisive.

Can someone tell me why the state program is not preferable? Or do volunteers plan on taking both?

Anonymous said...

Feiner wouldn't know one way or the other whether the other town board members think about this property exemption proposal because he's never asked what they think, he doesn't care what they think, and he's not talking to them in any event.

Instead, for partisan political purposes, Feiner has been trying to create the false and misleading impression with the volunteer firefighters that the exemption has already been agreed to, that they are therefore legally entitled to it, and that, if the town board members now don't go along with it, they'll be taking away an entitlement and reneging on a promise -- and that the only one fighting for them is Feiner.

In this regard, Feiner doesn't care that the proposal is unfair to tens of thousands of Greenburgh taxpayers who live in fire districts that employ five or more paid professionals.

To him, all that matters is that maybe he'll trick a sufficient number of volunteer firefighters to think it's somehow in their interest to support his re-election.

Surely that's no way to make policy in this town.

Anonymous said...

re: Can someone tell me why the state program is not preferable? Or do volunteers plan on taking both?

its either or - not both

Anonymous said...

And who is checking? Mr. " I am the law" Feiner?

Anonymous said...

Can any of the volunteers explain to me why the Town proposal is better than the state??

Anonymous said...

The only people I can imagine who would prefer the Town property tax relief to the State income tax credit are people who dont file or pay state income tax. And who could that be in Greenburgh? If you can afford a house, condo or coop, you are paying income tax, unless you have substantial unreported income. I wish the town council would try to find out what is motivating the volunteers?

1. Are they unaware of the state income tax credit?

2. Do they not have taxable income? Not reporting it?

3. Not aware they can only take one benefit?

4. Planning on illegally taking both?

Anonymous said...

Let the villages give the volunteers a tax break. The town should not, because having volunteers in the villages only benefits them and not the town fire districts which already pay for their fire protection. why not give everybody in town a tax break!! Dr's lawyers, teachers etc.

Anonymous said...

Rumor has it that Supervisor Feiner & Francis Sheehan were at the Ardsley Secor Volunteer Ambulance Corp dedication ceremony today and seemed favorably inclined to support the volunteer fire and ambulance corp exemptions. This law will definitely pass on the 23rd,despite the naysayers comments.

Anonymous said...

All the members of the Town Council have expressed support for the exemption publicly.

Anonymous said...

Heah I've got an idea. Since there are more Village residents than unincorporated greenburgh, why dont we just have only the people in unincorporated greeenburgh pay any property tax but all twon residents have access to all parks,etc.

Anonymous said...

And have unincorporated Greenburgh pay for the fire and police for the villages

Anonymous said...

Why would the residents of the unincorperated section ot town want any thing to due with this proposal. They already pay for fire and ems service and have some of the best in the state. The fact is the volunteer firefighters in the Hartsdale, Greenville and Fairview districts serve little purpose other then to let middle age men get to play fireman acouple of times a month. There is no truth to the statement that if the volunteers did not exist the departments would have to hire more men.No one is trying to do away with them, but in fact they serve no purpose. Each of the departments mentioned has enough manpower to handle the day to day operations with or without the volunteers.

Anonymous said...

This is a proposal to undermine the civil service employees in Greenburgh. Feiner has never supported the civil service employees. He has been against school and library bonds. Now he is against the paid firemen and ems people.

Anonymous said...

To anon at 7:12 -- the proposed exemption would not be applicable to any of the volunteers in the paid fire districts. The state law does not permit towns to offer the exemption to volunteers who live in fire districts that have five or more professional firefighters.

That means that volunteers in Fairview, Hartsdale and Greenville get nothing under this proposal. They would instead qualify for the state personal income tax credit of $200.

However, if the exemption were adopted and were to cover town and part-town taxes, taxpayers in the Fairview, Hartsdale and Greenville fire districts would be paying higher town and part-town taxes to cover the cost of the exemptions being given to volunteer firefighters in the volunteer fire districts.

At present, it is not known how much this subsidy would cost an on annual basis.

Anonymous said...

This proposed law would only impact all volunteer depts and would help keep the all volunteer depts volunteer, saving taxpayers millions of dollars. The average taxpayer in these districts will see their taxes go up hundreds of dollars a year if the law is not approved.

Anonymous said...

Dear anon at 6:28,

And what about the taxpayers in districts that have paid firefighters? Which is most of unincorporated greenburgh? Why do we have to susidize youf district?

Anonymous said...

The people in Hartsdale, Fairview and Greenville are getting the short end of it again. This should not pass. I hope the Town board wakes up quickly. Who does this benifit? not many people will even Qualify for this rebate. It's just not worth the agravation. Why don't we give everybody a tax break !!! You can't even call these people volunteers anymore because of all the perks they receive.

Anonymous said...

Tax breaks and pension plans do not work to keep volunteer firefighters,just check with any department that offers them. While it may benefit a select few, most of the volunteers will not benefit or be around long enough to collect anything. Another point is at what point are you no longer considered a VOLUNTEER. If you need a incentive then maybe you should pick another area to volunteer your time.

Anonymous said...

I am glad that Feiner, Bass, Barnes, Juettner & Sheehan are standing up to the chronic naysayers on this matter. I am glad that they are working together to provide the volunteers with the tax breaks deserved.

Anonymous said...

This does not benefit anybody in unincorparated Greenburgh. The villages should be the ones giving the tax break, not the Town.

Anonymous said...

This is just another kick in the posterior to encourage Edgemont to become a village.

Anonymous said...

This plan will benifit no one other then Paul Feiner who is looking for more votes. These plans DO NOT WORK.

Anonymous said...

edgemont tried many years ago to become a village.What makes them think that it could be done again. The civic associations of this area are becoming a pain in the butt.They only represent a few households,but,they make it sound that all the residents are in favor of what they say and do.Most of the people want to be left alone to do their own thing. People like to live their own lives.Volunteers ,no matter in what capacity should be acknowledged,not like Sheehan's volunteer,who was voted a salary of $50,000.00 a year. That's wrong. How much would this exemption cost the residents for the fire and ambulance corp.If it is legal it should be granted.

Anonymous said...

No, most people do not want their taxes raised. I guarantee if you put this proposal on the ballot in unincorporated greenburgh, it would not pass.

This proposal will make the tax cost of Edgmont becoming a village less. That was the only issue raised agaisnt become a village. The majority does not like Feiner, and is tired of having its pocket picked by him playing favorits.

Anonymous said...

How about, just for once, getting your facts straight and telling the truth? Interested Edgemont residents conducted a study (without a preconceived conclusion) within the last 4 years. Unless you have the lifespan of a Mayfly, that's pretty recent - and an excellent demonstration of how real grassroots democracy works.

Jim Lasser said...

After some research and a series of calls to the NY Workers' Compensation Board (866-750-5157), I think the postings on May 3rd which recite a litany of benefits available to volunteer fire fighters needs clarification. The list appears on the web-site of the FASNY (www.fasny.com)and may be misleading to those unfamiliar with volunteer firefighters. The enumerated benefits are available to survivors of volunteers if, and only if, the death was either in the line of duty or related to volunteer duties. It is not a general benefit granted to all survivors of all volunteers. The only purpose of this posting is to be sure the facts are correctly presented.

Anonymous said...

To anon at 9:52

the main objection to edgemont becoming a village was cost. the more things like this that cost edgement residents money, the less serious that objection is.

Jim - dig deeper said...

dear jim: while i find your posts some of the best on this blog,
you missed something about the earlier posts as to benefits - there are official benefits and unofficial benefits to volunteers. i strongly urge you and all bloggers to read the extraordinary investigation series newsday did on the volunteer fire departments on long island (i believe the entire island is served by volunteers). the report was a finalist for a major journalism award.

here is the link - its interactive also- its an eyeopener


Anonymous said...

Wow, this is a really interesting series of articles.

I do not begrugde the residents in the Ardsely and ohter fire departments to impose taxes on themselves for pensions, etc. but I really resent that Feiner is driving the push to have taxpayers in all of unincorporated Greenburgh subsidize them.

Anonymous said...

I live in the Edgemont section of Greenburgh, and there have been several times when I have needed the services of the fire department( Greenville FD ). All I can say is it seems that they respond and are at my door before before I can even hang the phone up, it's a very comforting feeling. Instead of Paul Feiner looking for a way to compensate the volunteers of the villages he should be looking for a way to expand this wounderful service ( paid firefighers) to the sections of the town that don't have them.

Anonymous said...

Paul has never supported civil service employees. He hasnt supported school budgets or library bond issues. Now he is not supporting paid fire men.