[Adopted 2-23-2004 by L.L. No. 1-2004]
The Town Board of the Town of Bath recognizes the role of the volunteer firefighters and ambulance workers in securing the safety and well being of our communities. The Town Board hereby finds that it is in the best social and economic interests of the Town of Bath to encourage volunteerism for said purposes. To that end, by providing the following exemption it is the intent to so encourage volunteerism for our various fire and ambulance companies.
Real property owned by an enrolled member of an incorporated volunteer fire company, fire department or incorporated voluntary ambulance service or such enrolled member and spouse residing in Steuben County shall be exempt from taxation to the extent of 10% of the assessed value of such property for Town purposes, exclusive of special assessments; provided, however, that such exemption shall in no event exceed $3,000 multiplied by the latest state equalization rate for the assessing unit in which such real property is located.
Such exemption shall not be granted to an enrolled member of an incorporated volunteer fire company, fire department or incorporated voluntary ambulance service residing in such county unless:
The applicant resides in the city, town or village which is served by such incorporated volunteer fire company or fire department or incorporated voluntary ambulance service;
The property is the primary residence of the applicant;
The property is used exclusively for residential purposes; provided, however, that in the event any portion of such property is not used exclusively for the applicant's residence but is used for other purposes, such portion shall be subject to taxation and the remaining portion only shall be entitled to the exemption provided by this section; and
The applicant has been certified by the authority having jurisdiction for the incorporated volunteer fire company or fire department as an enrolled member of such incorporated volunteer fire company or fire department for at least five years or the applicant has been certified by the authority having jurisdiction for the incorporated voluntary ambulance service as an enrolled member of such incorporated voluntary ambulance service for at least five years. Said certification shall be made to the Steuben County Director of Office of Emergency Services.
Application for such exemption shall be filed with the assessor on or before the taxable status date on a form as prescribed by the state board.
No applicant who is a volunteer firefighter or volunteer ambulance worker who by reason of such status is receiving any benefit under the provisions of this article on the effective date of this section shall suffer any diminution of such benefit because of the provisions of this section.
This article shall take effect immediately and shall apply to real property having a taxable status date on or after the first day of January next succeeding the date on which this article shall have become a law.