Euer, Finkelman bill to allow tax cut for Jamestown volunteer firefighters passes GA

 

STATE HOUSE – The House and Senate today unanimously passed a bill, sponsored by Sen. Dawn Euer and Rep. Alex Finkelman, that would allow the town of Jamestown to give a tax break to volunteer firefighters.

“Our neighbors on the volunteer fire department are true heroes,” said Senator Euer (D-Dist. 13, Newport, Jamestown). “I will never forget seeing the pictures of them this winter, extinguishing a structure fire in sub-zero temperatures while covered in ice. They show up for our community 365 days a year, and I’m glad we were able to get this done to demonstrate our appreciation.”

The bill (2023-S 0056, 2023-H 5263) would allow the town of Jamestown to establish a program that would provide members of the Jamestown Emergency Medical Services and Volunteer Fire Department up to $2,000 of property tax relief. If the member does not own property, they would be eligible for the cash equivalent. It would be up to the town to set eligibility criteria based on years of service, quantity of calls responded to, number of training hours attended or other factors. The benefit would also be transferrable to a surviving spouse until remarriage or death.

Representative Finkelman’s bill passed the House on March 2 and Senator Euer’s bill passed the Senate on May 9. Both chambers passed the companion legislation on Tuesday as part of their consent calendars. The bill now heads to the governor’s desk for his signature.

“With daily costs rising rapidly, especially in regards to housing costs, our brave and dedicated fire and emergency personnel in Jamestown deserve some relief for the vital and dangerous jobs they perform every day to keep us safe,” said Representative Finkelman (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown). “Jamestown firefighters serve the community on a voluntary basis, so this tax abatement would serve as compensation for the crucial services they provide, often at the risk and expense of their own well-being.”

 

Closing arguments have ended in Donald Trump's criminal hush money case. The judge will give the New York jury his instructions tomorrow morning before they begin deliberations. Trump is charged with falsifying records before the 2016 election to hide payments to adult film star Stormy Daniels. He is the first American president to stand trial in a criminal case.        Over one-million people are without power in Texas. Heavy storms are pounding the state today, leading to a ground-stop at Houston's Airport. The system dropped baseball-sized hail on parts of North Texas, including Dallas. Dallas County has issued a disaster declaration. Meanwhile, at least 23 people are dead after severe weather slammed the nation's midsection, including Texas, over the Memorial Day weekend.       The U.S. military is working to repair a temporary pier used to deliver humanitarian aid to Gaza. Defense Department spokesperson Sabrina Singh told reporters today it will take about a week to fix the pier. The pier broke apart over the weekend due to rough seas and will be towed to Israel for repairs.        At least seven people are injured, with another two missing after an explosion in Youngstown, Ohio. The explosion took place at a downtown bank building. Officials in the area say they are concerned about the structural integrity of the building. The Mahoning County Emergency Management Agency said in a statement that natural gas was involved.       Emergency crews are responding to a military aircraft crash in New Mexico. Officials say the crash occurred near the Albuquerque International Sunport on Tuesday afternoon. The plane went down outside of the airfield on the south side of the airport. The pilot is reportedly conscious and has been taken to the hospital for treatment.        Music fans will finally get a chance to hear a fabled album from the Wu-Tang Clan. The world's only copy of the hip-hop group's 2015 album "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin" will go on display at the Museum of Old and New Art in Tasmania, Australia next month. Former Pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli bought the the album for two-million-dollars at a 2015 auction and it was later sold to an art collective in 2021.