Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman Applauds Unanimous Passage of Sewer Equalization Fee Legislation
New policy created as a direct result of findings from an audit of County policy under previous administration.
MINEOLA, NY – Today, the Nassau County Legislature unanimously passed a bill that would standardize the way out-of-district ratepayers hook into the County’s sewer system. The change in policy was in response to an audit conducted by the Office of the Nassau County Comptroller.
In September of 2018, the Office of the Nassau County Comptroller released an audit that showed that between 2013 and 2017, the County collected $2.6 million less in out-of-district sewer hookup fees by arbitrarily switching its assessment methods.
The audit found that there were no formal policies in place, which allowed the Department of Public Works (DPW) to use differing methods to determine the property values used to calculate Equalization Charges. Differing methods were applied inequitably to different ratepayers. Depending upon the method chosen, developers could potentially save thousands and possibly millions of dollars at taxpayers’ expense.
In response to the audit’s findings, DPW agreed that it would be beneficial to have both a standardized, legislatively approved process for calculating out-of-district equalization charges and a consistent valuation policy for calculating equalization charges. The passage of today’s legislation by the County Legislature, on a bipartisan basis, will ensure consistency and accountability going forward.
“As a result of our audit and follow-up, the County Legislature unanimously passed a critical reform, based upon my office’s recommendations, that will both protect taxpayers and ensure fairness in how our County does business,” said Nassau County Comptroller Jack Schnirman. “This bipartisan legislation is an example of public policy that makes our government operate in a fairer and more impartial way and provides greater accountability.”
A copy of the audit and an easy-to-understand report overview can be found online at: www.nassaucountyny.gov/audits.