Amato, Rumpf & Myhre Propose Property Tax Exemptions for Surviving Spouses of Police, Firefighters and EMS Who Died in Line of Duty

Amato, Rumpf & Myhre Propose Property Tax Exemptions for Surviving Spouses of Police, Firefighters and EMS Who Died in Line of Duty

May 17, 2024

Legislation Would Include Volunteers and Reimburse Municipalities

Senator Carmen Amato, Jr., Assemblyman Brian Rumpf and Assemblyman Gregory Myhre have introduced legislation (SCR-106/ACR-136) to provide a property tax exemption for the surviving spouse of a law enforcement officer, firefighter, or first aid, ambulance, or rescue squad member who dies in the line of duty. The exemption would include the surviving spouses of both paid and volunteer firefighters and first aid, ambulance, or rescue squad members.

The 9th district delegation’s legislative initiative proposes to amend the State Constitution to provide the property tax exemption which would only apply to the primary residence owned and occupied by the surviving spouse. The property receiving the exemption is also required to have been the primary residence of the first responder at the time of the first responder’s death.

Senator Amato, Assemblyman Rumpf and Assemblyman Myhre issued the following statement:

“First responders who tragically die in the line of duty protecting the public deserve to have their family taken care of in view of their sacrifice. Our legislation was drafted and introduced in recognition of the very real dangers law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS personnel can encounter in the performance of their duties.

“These dedicated public servants are required to work under dangerous and difficult circumstances, including at all hours of the night whenever an emergency arises. Exempting surviving spouses is a reasonable and appropriate benefit for first responders who, during the course of their careers, can often be placed in the position of saving lives while at times placing their own lives at risk.”

Under the delegation’s legislation, the State would annually reimburse municipalities for the amount of property taxes that would have otherwise been paid for each property receiving the exemption established under the legislation.

Under the delegation’s legislation, a surviving spouse would qualify for the exemption, and continue to receive it, for as long as the spouse owns and occupies the home as a primary residence and does not remarry.

Voters would be required to approve the ballot question posed under the delegation’s legislation prior to the proposed property tax exemption being established.

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