HARTFORD – On Wednesday, May 22nd, legislation co-sponsored by State Representative Irene Haines (R-34), HB 5125 ‘An Act Increasing the Property Tax Abatement for Certain First Responders’ was unanimously passed the House of Representatives.
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.
During the public hearing we heard about the difficulties some towns and departments have had recruiting volunteer first responders,” said Rep. Haines. “Increasing this optional abatement gives towns another tool to help recruit needed emergency personnel without introducing a new heavy handed mandate.
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.
The bill awaits further action by the State Senate before the end of the legislative session on June 5th, 2019.