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.”
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.”