FASNY has released an economic impact study titled “Tax Savings and Economic Value of Volunteer Firefighters in New York.”
The study, the most in-depth of its kind, concludes that the 100,000 volunteer firefighters across New York save the state’s taxpayers more than $3 billion annually. These savings are realized because volunteer firefighters are not paid wages and because fundraising by volunteer organizations reduces the need to levy taxes to finance fire equipment and operations.
The report also found that fire response times across the state are getting better due to the recent addition of more than 20,000 volunteer firefighters through a federal Staffing for Adequate Fire & Emergency Response (SAFER) grant.
Below are links to FASNY’s official press release concerning this report and a link to a the complete financial impact study.
Summary of the “Tax Savings and Economic Value of Volunteer Firefighters in New York” Study:
- An additional 30,822 career firefighters would be necessary to convert to an all-paid service
- The annual cost of an all-career service would be $3.87 billion
- There would be a one-time cost of $5.95 billion to acquire existing stations/structures, vehicles and equipment
- Approximately 1,300 stations would have to be built new or reconstructed
- Property taxes would rise between 3.3 and 123 percent, with an average increase of 26.5 percent
- As a result of increasing the number of volunteers in recent years, average response time was reduced by 2.5 percent