November 26, 2010
DiNapoli's Office Completes Audit of the Town of Southampton
New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli today announced his office completed the Town of Southampton audit: Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund - Payments in Lieu of Taxes.
“My office’s audits of local governments improve their financial management practices,” DiNapoli said. “Everyone makes mistakes, and when governments and municipalities make mistakes taxpayers suffer. I encourage the Southampton Town Board to look at our recalculation of PILOTS and take action to equitably resolve the exceptions.”
DiNapoli’s auditors found that Southampton did not correctly interpret the 2007 amendment, subsequently costing taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars. The amendment states that school districts can qualify for PILOTS even if they have less than 25 percent of their assessed value exempt from property taxes.
DiNapoli’s office found Southampton officials made PILOTS in excess of what they were required. Had Southampton correctly interpreted the amendment, payments made to individual districts would have changed, sometimes by significant amounts, and the town could have saved $664,647. Districts other than school districts would have received significantly more in PILOTs, while two of the three school districts would have received significantly less.
For a full copy of the audit, see: http://www.osc.state.ny.us/localgov/audits/towns/2010/southampton.pdf
If you have any questions, or would like a comment from the Comptroller’s press office regarding this audit, please call 518-474-4015, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.