County: Sewer refunds coming soon

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Freeport residents who saw a hike of nearly 75 percent in their sewage disposal taxes earlier this year should soon receive a refund, according to a county spokeswoman.

Karen Contino, press secretary for County Executive Laura Curran, said the error amounted to a combined increase of about $9.3 million for residents of Rockville Centre, Freeport, Garden City, Hempstead and Mineola. Taxpayers outside those five villages were slightly undercharged, according to Curran.

Donald Clavin, the Town of Hempstead’s receiver of taxes, had told the Herald that about 36,000 owners of commercial and residential properties were affected by the mistake, 33,000 of who are in the town, and that these residents are owed an average refund between $300 and $500.

“Payments are scheduled to go out by the end of the month,” Contino said.

Rockville Centre Mayor Francis X. Murray, Freeport Mayor Robert Kennedy and County Executive Debra Mulé helped point out the error in February. “We are confident that Nassau County will process refunds in the coming weeks,” Rockville Centre spokeswoman Julie Scully wrote in an email.

Contino said in May that refunds would begin to go out in October, after the general tax-levy collection deadline of Aug. 31. Those undercharged will see the adjustment in their 2019 bill.

Curran had also ordered the Office of Management and Budget to identify and modernize the outdated budget and processing that she said led to errors, but Contino did not detail any efforts taken to do so.

Rob Busweiler, a spokesman for County Comptroller Jack Schnirman, said Schnirman’s office is working to ensure that the county treasurer’s office sends checks to the right people. “We look forward to working with the county executive’s office moving forward,” he said, “to add another level of review to this process.”

Nadya Nataly contributed to this story.