Upgraded Septic Systems Trigger New Taxes For Suffolk Homeowners

Mar 14, 2019

Suffolk County residents who received septic system grants may now be responsible for thousands of dollars in taxes.

The county issues grants to incentivize homeowners to update their septic systems.

Traditional cesspools and septic systems are responsible for much of the nitrogen pollution in Long Island waterways. Newer systems filter nitrogen out.

The County Comptroller’s office sent out IRS tax forms to grant recipients this week. Some homeowners owe thousands of dollars in taxes.

Deputy County Executive Peter Scully says these grants were never designed to tax the homeowner. He says the contractors who installed the systems were supposed to foot the bill.

“At least in one instance a homeowner has advised us that if the grant were to be considered taxable that income would move that homeowner from a 10 percent tax bracket into a 22 percent tax bracket. And that would be unfortunate.”

It would be up to the Comptroller’s office to rescind the tax notices. The office wants to wait for a binding opinion from the IRS before it proceeds.