“For the second time in two years, two of Rockland’s state legislators have withdrawn a retroactive tax exemption for a Ramapo yeshiva under pressure from firefighters and other advocates for safe buildings.
Assemblywoman Ellen Jaffee, D-Suffern, and Sen. David Carlucci, D-New City, had submitted a proposal to give a tax exemption to Congregation Divrei Chaim for the tax years 2013 and 2014 that would have been worth $30,000.
The lawmakers had received documentation supporting the tax exemption from Ramapo officials.
However, Jaffee and Carlucci backed off on Congregation Divrei Chaim after the Rockland Illegal Housing Task Force raised questions about the recent fire safety inspection at the yeshiva, built at 61 Carlton Road.
The inspection was done by Firefighter Avi Genuth, 31, a firefighter for just more than 2 1/2 years who estimated he did a dozen private school inspections since filed with the New York state Department of Education.
In a joint statement Friday, Carlucci and Jaffee said the task force sent them a letter “that questioned the validity of the documents and safety inspections presented to our offices” by Ramapo for the school.
“Any retroactive tax exemption must only be processed when there is complete confidence that the property has followed all state, local, and federal regulations.” they said. “As a result of this new information we will not sponsor legislation granting a retroactive tax exemption for this property at this time.”
Read the complete Journal News story here.