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Dec 16, 2009 1:44 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Around Town Hall: Southampton Town details hamlet boundaries in new map

Dec 16, 2009 1:44 PM

A new map is being created to establish official hamlet boundaries within Southampton Town.

The map of the town’s 18 hamlets is expected to clarify gray areas where the conventional wisdom of residents conflicted with the unofficial boundaries of hamlets as established in the U.S. Census.

Ross Baldwin, geographic information systems manager for the town and chief architect of the new map, said boundaries in areas such as Bridgehampton and Water Mill do not always conform with those established decades ago by the federal government.

“There is an area of Bridgehampton that borders Water Mill. For years, people in Water Mill have been known to be in Bridgehampton, but in reality the census-designated places, our unofficial hamlet boundaries, had them in Water Mill,” Mr. Baldwin said. “So we are clearing up these discrepancies. Every boundary was adjusted somehow, except village boundaries.”

The official boundaries will have no legal ramifications and are only “honorary” for civic purposes, Supervisor Linda Kabot said. Ms. Kabot noted that the boundaries will not impact taxes, property values or mailing addresses. “It has no tax implications. It has no legal implications,” Ms. Kabot said. “It is honorary in respect to our civic heritage.”

At a Town Board meeting on Friday, Councilwoman Nancy Graboski said she hoped the map of official boundaries would be adopted by the Town Board in early January. “We feel confident that this map reflects where people take their civic identity from, where they take their civic pride from,” Ms. Graboski said.

Boundaries of villages and the Shinnecock Indian Nation, which is established by the federal government, were not altered by the map.

Official boundaries of hamlets compared to those in the U.S. Census in some cases differed by several hundred feet, Mr. Baldwin said, adding, “In some areas it changed by a parcel or two.”

Digital Taxes

Taxes in Southampton Town are going digital.

As the January 10 due date for the first installment of property taxes nears, Southampton Town residents now have the option to pay their taxes online through the town’s website.

Tax Receiver Theresa Kiernan, in a press release, said all tax bills can now be viewed, printed and paid by logging on to southamptontownny.gov. Once at the town’s home page, click the link for “Online Code and Services” on the left of the screen, then click the “Pay Your Taxes Online” link. A prompter will then ask to create a free online account before any payments can be made.

The online service accepts electronic checks and credit cards including American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. A $1 fee will be charged for each electronic check transaction, and a 2-percent fee will be applied for credit card processing, according to the press release.

“It’s a great way to receive proof of payment right on the spot,” Ms. Kiernan said in the press release. “There’s no longer any risk of it getting lost in the mail. And since there’s no need to fax copies of bills, it cuts down on paperwork at both ends.”

With more than 50,000 taxable parcels in the Town of Southampton, Ms. Kiernan’s office collects over $300 million annually in school, county, and town taxes. More than 65 percent of bills are paid directly to the town by individuals, with the remaining 35 percent coming from banks for taxes included in mortgage payments.

“People should try it out,” Ms. Kiernan said in the press release. “No one likes paying taxes, so the more convenient we can make it, the better.”

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Finally an offical ruling showing what's Remsenburg and what's Speonk
By EastEnd68 (888), Westhampton on Dec 14, 09 5:55 PM
an additional 2% for using a credit card? Who wants to pay more in taxes. I'll stick to snail mail thank you.
By bigfresh (4666), north sea on Dec 15, 09 7:38 AM
It is pathetic that geographic information such as this is not made fully available to the public in digital format. It doesn't have to be expensive for the town to do this.

Where does that fee money that real estate agents pay to access the town geographic information system go anyway?

As to the tax fees, the corruption level on that one stinks also.
By deKooning (106), southampton on Dec 17, 09 1:58 AM
Regarding the 2% convenience fee that is charged for using a credit card, it's purpose is to cover the fees that are charged by the credit card companies (known as the discount rate). If the credit card users did not pay that fee, then the Town would have to absorb the cost, which would result in all taxpayers paying for it.
By Theresa Kiernan (26), Southampton on Dec 17, 09 10:18 PM
The historic boundaries of the hamlets are important and should not be changed. The only reason they are is for financial profit, i.e. the larger a hamlet is, the more money it receives for fire protection, park purchases, etc. Historic boundaries are also important when researching land records. There would also be a MAJOR difference as far as real estate taxes are concerned. A house say in Speonk is valued considerably less than one with a Remsenburg address. By the way, EE68, I hear Speonk ...more
By Ms. Jane Q. Public (147), Southampton on Dec 17, 09 9:27 AM
There is absolutely no financial impact associated with adjusting the hamlet boundaries. The hamlet boundaries are simply used as a means of civic identity. The Town has various taxing districts such as fire, ambulance, park, parking,etc. that address the financial side of things.

The existing unofficial hamlet boundaries were loosely based off of Census Designated Place boundaries. The new proposed boundaries more accurately depict communities based on feedback from each community.

Speonk ...more
By TOSGIS (1), Southampton on Dec 18, 09 2:58 PM
Why the fees for paying on-line transfer or by credit card? Why would I, as a taxpayer, want to pay my taxes plus a fee for the town's convenience. By law, the town should still have to mail out tax bills. I recommend that everyone pay by check by mail unless the town takes away those ridiculous fees. Since the taxpayer will be saving the town money by paying on-line and by credit card, the town should give a discount rather than impose fees.
By Walt (292), Southampton on Dec 19, 09 9:58 PM
Theresa--- Isn't the town saving money by letting the taxpayer pay their taxes by credit card? Sure there is a fee for crdeit cards, but the savings realized by the town in not mailing out tax bills and having to manually process them should make it a wash. Just another example of a greedy town government.
By Walt (292), Southampton on Dec 19, 09 10:01 PM
Walt - we continue to mail a tax bill to every property owner. Taxpayers can now view and print a duplicate online(at no cost), and I am hoping that it will reflect a savings if we print less and ultimately order less forms. Paying by credit card is another option for people, and since it is treated similarly to the tax payments that are paid by check and processed through the Bank lockbox, there is no cost savings to the Town. Some taxpayers choose the credit card option to earn miles on their ...more
By Theresa Kiernan (26), Southampton on Dec 19, 09 10:57 PM