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East Hampton extends tax deadline, ex-tax receiver granted medical leave

East Hampton officials, who have extended the deadline to pay town taxes because of problems with some bills reaching homeowners, granted a medical leave Tuesday to the former tax receiver, who was removed from her post earlier this month.

Tax bills are normally due Jan. 10, but the town moved the deadline back until the end of the month. Budget Officer Len Bernard said that it appeared some bills were never printed, but that all of them have now been distributed.

Town officials are looking into the cause of the problem. A year ago, some town residents also did not get their tax bills on time. The problem that time was caused by an outside mailing service used by the town.

"We're still trying to get to the bottom of it. . . . As of today, we're pretty much caught up," Bernard said, adding that long-range plans call for reorganizing the operation of the tax receiver's office so similar errors are not repeated. And, he noted, the former tax receiver, Monica Rottach, is still employed by the town.

Officials cited the department for the tax bill mailings, but they did not specifically blame Rottach, whose family medical leave will be for an indefinite period.

Neide Valeira, a senior accountant the town board appointed as interim tax receiver last week, has replaced Rottach as tax receiver.

The town posted public notices that no penalties would be assessed if taxes were paid by the end of this month or were mailed in and received or postmarked by Jan. 31.

Any town resident who lacks a copy of their tax bill can call the tax receiver's office at 631-324-2770 or fax a request to 631-329-4425. Instructions about tax payments are available on the town website.

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