(From a press release)
The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners Wednesday authorized a property tax rebate program for volunteer members of fire companies and eligible nonprofit emergency medical service (EMS) agencies in Montgomery County to acknowledge the value and dedication of active EMS volunteers and to encourage others to become involved.
“Our volunteer fire and EMS members put their lives on the line every day for our community,” said Jamila H. Winder, Chair of the Montgomery County Board of Commissioners. “This program offers the approximately 3,000 active volunteers in Montgomery County a rebate of up to 100 percent of their Montgomery County real estate tax, as a thank you for their service.”
To qualify for a tax rebate under the Active Volunteer Service Tax Rebate Program, an individual must have been a member of a volunteer fire company or eligible EMS agency for the entire eligibility period. Emergency responders will be able to receive a rebate of 25 percent, 50 percent, 75 percent, or 100 percent of their real estate property tax of Montgomery County, depending on their participation in emergency response calls, trainings, public education activities, leadership roles, and other activities.
Activities have eligible points associated. For example, each emergency response call will be two points. Department trainings, certifications, fundraising events, meeting attendance, and other activities will also accrue points. A volunteer who earns 50 points in a calendar year will be eligible to receive a 25 percent tax rebate; 100 points for a 50 percent tax rebate; 150 points for a 75 percent tax rebate; and 200 points for a 100 percent tax rebate. Agency supervisors will keep records of each volunteer’s activities to substantiate points earned.
“Today, we proudly became the largest county to provide up to 100 percent County property tax relief to these critical members of our community,” said Neil Makhija, Montgomery County Commissioner. “It’s also very intentional that the first tax vote in our new Administration is this unanimously-passed tax cut. Tax relief is a critical tool for us to maintain reliable emergency services for all of our residents and to recognize those serving the public.”
The program also acknowledges the risk that emergency responders take each time they go out on a call by offering tax rebates to those injured during an emergency response call. Eligible individuals who were injured responding to, participating in, or returning from an emergency response call, provided they have documentation from a licensed physician, may receive the credit for up to five consecutive tax years.
“Over the last three decades, there has been a significant decrease in the number of volunteer firefighters in Pennsylvania, from 360,000 in the 1970s to less than 37,000 today,” said Thomas DiBello, Montgomery County Commissioner.“Offering up to a full rebate on real estate property taxes is a way to give back to those Montgomery County residents who give their time to protecting our neighborhoods. It’s also a real tangible benefit of becoming a volunteer, and we hope it will inspire people to sign up with their local department.”
With the Commissioners’ passing of this ordinance today, the program becomes effective immediately. Participants will be able to apply for the tax rebate for the 2025 tax year for service provided from January 1, 2024 through December 31, 2024.
The Active Volunteer Service Tax Rebate Program will be available within the next 60 days.
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a volunteer firefighter or EMS provider, visit or contact your local fire company for more information.