Audit Finds Overpayments by Southampton to School Districts

Steven Bobson, Europe & Americas Editor
November 29, 2010 /

Southampton, a hotspot in New York during summer, has expended overpayments of more than $1.91 million for the two school districts in Long Island, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli revealed.

In a statement, DiNapoli reported that eastern schools in Long Island received a total of $8.29 million from Southampton instead of the $7.62 million amount that should have been paid out. DiNapoli based his report of overpayments on the audit conducted for the property along the New York town which has tax-exempt status. He further claimed that Southampton underpaid a third system and three fire districts.

It is always the taxpayers that bear the burden at every wrong move made by government officials, be it in the national or local level, DiNapoli noted. He said that a misinterpreted change in the law created three years ago that regulates how towns would make payments in lieu of taxes has caused the mistake.

DiNapoli’s audit showed that the overpayments have been going on for two years, from which the amount that could have been saved amounted to about $664,600 for the 55,200 towns that have been often visited by famous celebrities and public figures like George Soros, a well-known billionaire investor, and Renee Zellweger and Michael Fox. The largest in the overpayments, about $1.76 million, was received by the Riverhead Central School District, DiNapoli said.

Southampton said in an official statement that it would make a “corrective action plan” to immediately address the issue on overpayments.


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