Make Government Subsidies to IA Systems Non-Taxable
The Accabonac Protection Committee is encouraged that the Water Protection District lines now include all of The Springs and that Suffolk County currently has funds for the I/A septic replacement program.
Nitrogen pollution from cesspools and septic systems has been identified as the largest single cause of degraded water quality contributing to beach closures, restrictions on shellfishing, toxic algae blooms, and massive fish kills. A conventional onsite septic system was never designed to remove nitrogen. The average residential septic system discharges approximately 40 pounds of nitrogen per year. For homeowners close to surface waters in Suffolk County nitrogen can rapidly reach surface waters where it contributes to degradation of our marshes, bays, and beaches. Even inland, nitrogen from septic systems will eventually reach the groundwater and surface waters.
Thousands of parcels are currently served by polluting cesspools and septic systems, In our area there is no sewer system to connect. Reversing degradation of water quality will depend on replacement of existing systems with new, individual Innovative and Alternative Onsite Wastewater Treatment Systems (I/A OWTS).
Over the past several years, Suffolk County and the Town of East Hampton have done much to facilitate the transition to the use of these new systems. To make the cost of I/A systems more affordable for homeowners, Suffolk County has developed the Septic Improvement Program, called Reclaim Our Water. Homeowners who decide to replace their cesspool or septic system with the new technologies will be eligible for a grant of up to $30,000 from Suffolk County and New York State to offset the cost of one of the new systems. East Hampton Town offers a maximum rebate of $20,000.
The taxable income status of such grants remains a stumbling block for many East Hampton homeowners. Homeowners receive 1099’s as the IRS code treats these grants and rebates as income.
HR Bill 2711, sponsored by Rep. Souzzi, co-sponsored by Rep. Zeldin, Rep. Rice and Rep. Garbarino, excludes from gross income, for income tax purposes, a taxpayer subsidy provided by a state or local government to a resident for the purchase or installation of any wastewater management measure intended solely for the taxpayer's principal residence.
The bill was introduced in April of 2021 and currently sits in the Ways and Means committee. The bill would allow persons who were issued 1099's and filed tax returns to file amended returns without the 1099 income. At least that is the way it is intended to work at this point, according to Rep. Zeldin’s IRS expert.
This legislation, if passed, would likely increase the number of I/A systems installed. Given the issues Congress is wrestling with, this might be perceived as a bill with a local focus and have a low probability of being passed. That is why we are asking for your help getting HR Bill 2711 passed.
Call to Action!
Call the Chair of the House Ways and Means committee, Richard Neal, D, Mass.,
to express your support for HR 2711
A recording will pick up, leave you name and phone number and state you support HR 2711.
Please share this call to action with people in your network. Many thanks.
Patrice Dalton, President
Accabonac Protection Committee
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