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Letter: Suffolk septic program needs tax remedy

An advanced septic system that removes nitrogen from

An advanced septic system that removes nitrogen from water is installed at a home in Flanders on Feb. 27, 2018. Credit: Randee Daddona

Mine was among families that won grants last year from Suffolk County’s Septic Improvement Program to offset the cost of nitrogen-reducing technology. I got a $10,000 grant for the system and paid about $17,000 myself to restore my walkway and lawn, which were torn up.

Unfortunately, Suffolk County Comptroller John Kennedy sent me a 1099-G tax form, indicating income to me from Suffolk, even though County Executive Steve Bellone had said that installation companies, not homeowners, would receive the grant funding and pay taxes on that income. “The county is optimistic that the IRS will confirm that grants should not be considered as taxable income to homeowners,” Bellone said in a statement in May.

However, the comptroller said homeowners were responsible, and I wound up paying more than $2,000 in extra state and federal taxes for 2018. Kennedy said he’s waiting for an IRS opinion on the matter. I have written Kennedy multiple letters without a response. Now the county plans to do more of these installations [“High-tech septic, systems planned,” News, Sept. 19].

Someone has made an error in this situation and homeowners deserve a remedy.

James McConville,