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Huntington Town board candidate had owed sales tax to state

Andre Sorrentino is a Republican candidate for Huntington

Andre Sorrentino is a Republican candidate for Huntington Town Board. Credit: James Escher

The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance entered multiple tax warrants between 1999 and 2019 against candidate for Huntington Town Board Andre Sorrentino — that were all later paid — over sales tax revenue related to an automotive shop he owned with his brother.

The department issued  tax warrants for $85,000 between 1999 and 2014 against Andre and Pasquale Sorrentino, who owned PAS Automotive Service Inc., an online state database showed. Tax warrants totaling $288,419 were issued from 2014 through June 2019, including a warrant of $100,122.55 in June 2019 against Andre Sorrentino individually and as a responsible person of PAS Professional Auto Service Inc.

The warrants involved sales tax that was collected from customers but never paid to the state in a timely manner as required.  

The balances have all been paid and there is nothing currently owed, according to the New York State Department of State’s State Tax Warrant online database. The database shows Sorrentino "satisfied" the most recent warrant Aug. 28 as he launched his bid for the town board.

Sorrentino, a Republican and Huntington’s director of general services since 2018, is making his first run for the board.

Sorrentino’s campaign said the matter was routine business and resolved.

"Like a lot of small businesses PAS was contacted by the state government over the amount of sales tax that it had paid,” the statement said. “At the time that PAS was first contacted the state government was targeting auto body shops all over Long Island. A polite negotiation ensued, and it was agreed that a payment of additional sales taxes would be made. The agreed upon amount was paid in full and there are no tax liens, no tax judgments, and no such debts owed by Mr. Sorrentino.”

The statement said Sorrentino divested himself prior to his town appointment and is no longer an owner of the business at 627 New York Ave. in Huntington.

Since 2014, the warrants against the two brothers and the business totaled $288,419, of which the brothers were personally liable for $275,296.40, plus interest.

Avrum Rosen, a Huntington-based bankruptcy attorney who alerted Newsday to the state warrants and judgments, said someone running to be a fiduciary of the town deserves to be scrutinized.

“The taxpayers of Huntington should be concerned about having someone make critical financial decisions for the town who is unable to operate his own business within the confines of the law, ” said Rosen, who ran as a Democrat for the state Assembly in 1996 in the 10th District and in 2018 in the 12th District.

“Sales taxes are collected from customers by businesses and are supposed to be kept separate from other funds and paid to New York State, usually on a quarterly basis or more frequently based upon the volume of sales,” Rosen said. “Since these are funds that are held in 'trust' by the business, NYS can impose personal liability on the owners of the company if the funds are not timely paid.” 

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