Mineola, NY- An audit by Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos of the Treasurer’s Office found procedural weaknesses with the collection of the approximately $2 million annual County Entertainment Ticket Surcharge Tax. The Treasurer’s Office did not require event operators to submit missing tax returns and/or information missing from filed tax returns on a few occasions. Tax receipts were also not always deposited on a timely basis, and supporting documents to ensure taxes were accurately reported were not being examined. Our previous review of Nikon at Jones Beach Theater, operator of the Nassau Coliseum SMG and NYCB Theatre in Westbury found errors and omissions in entertainment tax that could have been detected had the Treasurer’s Office examined the filed returns. The County Attorney is currently in the process of collecting the $727,000 now owed to the County.
“When our local residents are struggling to pay their property taxes, any weakness in collecting other taxes which can lessen their burden is unacceptable,” said Comptroller George Maragos. “We are pleased that the Treasurer’s Office has agreed to tighten collections and oversight”
The Nassau County (“the County”) Administrative Code Article 3a imposes an entertainment surcharge tax of $1.50 per ticket for entertainment events held in the County for venues with permanent seating capacity in excess of 2,500 seats. Tax-exempt organizations are exempt from the tax. According to New York Tax Law Chapter 179.2 (Section 1202(d)(iii)), “…such tax may be collected and administered by the county treasurer or other fiscal officers of Nassau county by such means and in such manner as other taxes which are now collected and administered by such officers or as otherwise may be provided by such local law, ordinance or resolution”
The full version of the report is available on the Comptroller’s website.