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Audit: Jones Beach Hotel Owes $610,400 in Back Taxes

Report issued by Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos says hotel in Wantagh has failed to pay county's Hotel and Motel Tax since 1994.

The in Wantagh owes Nassau County more than $600,000 in fines and uncollected taxes dating back nearly two decades, according to an audit released Tuesday. 

The Jones Beach Hotel, located on 3275 Byron Street in Wantagh, has failed to pay Nassau County's Hotel and Motel Tax since 1994, Nassau County Comptroller George Maragos indicated in his audit report. The hotel did not register and file hotel and motel occupancy from November 1994 to July 9, 2011 and in that nearly 17-year period owed $610,400 in fines, Maragos said. 

The other hotel cited in the county comptroller's report was the Allegria in Long Beach, which owes the county $132,000 since first opening in 2010. Maragos said all other hotels in the county have complied with the tax, which is allocated to promote tourism and conventions as well as to assist in the operation of non-profit museums and cultural organizations.

Following the audit, the Nassau County's treasurer office referred the unpaid hotel and motel occupancy taxes by the Jones Beach Hotel and Allegria to the county’s collection agency, Maragos said. 

“We are pleased that the treasurer has acted promptly to collect unpaid hotel and motel taxes and to put procedures in place for better oversight of delinquent taxpayers,” said Maragos, who was elected Nassau County comptroller in 2009 and is currently running in a senate race to be the Republican challenger to U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-NY.  

Letters from the Treasurers Officers were went to the Jones Beach Hotel informing them of the tax requirement dated June 28, 1995, Nov. 9, 2007, Dec. 8, 2008 and May 27, 2009, according to the audit. Maragos said it was only at the time of the audit on July 9, 2011 that the hotel registered. 

The audit also pointed out that the Jones Beach Hotel did not pay occupancy taxes of $1,772 in 2009 and $1,930 in 2010. Maragos said that during the time of the audit in August 2011 the occupancy taxes were paid but interest and penalties were not included in the payments. 

Another finding in the audit shows the Jones Beach Hotel being unable to support $33,850 and $12,181 in exemptions claimed for 2009 and 2010 due to inaccurate record keeping. Maragos said his office requested copies of the Jones Beach Hotel's New York State quarterly tax returns from 2009-2010 but they were not provided. 

A spokesman at Jones Beach Hotel front desk, who did not wish to be identified, said a formal statement will be issued by their owners after reviewing the audit report. He said the hotel is primarily full of residents rather than short-term customers and they will be glad to work with the county to resolve any pending tax issues. 

ed May 09, 2012 at 01:26 PM
shut it down! its basically a hotel for section 8 and crackheads!
eileen A. May 09, 2012 at 02:47 PM
I just can't understand how this can go on for twenty years and now there is an AHA moment. If a homeowner did this they would loose their houses.
scott May 09, 2012 at 02:51 PM
This hotel is a nuisance to all the neighbors. There has been several arrests for drugs lately. They clog the 911 system with complaints for drug use , drug sales and domestic complaints. There patrons have no regard for the neighborhood by littering their garbage and driving to the hotel at high rates of speed along with the vendors who bring supplies and empty the garbage. Etc
Chris Wendt May 09, 2012 at 03:46 PM
Here is a sterling example of the (IN)efficiency of government...allowing this situation to fester for "decades" with no enforcement or collection action taken, until we get to the point where the (rest of us) taxpayers in the County are OUT $610K. Critical thinkers reading this should be able to draw fairly accurate conclusions about how this was allowed to persist for so long.
scott May 09, 2012 at 04:40 PM
I think the jbh should be closed till they pay back what is owed. I think the TOH and Nassau County should look for a developer to knock this place to the ground and rebuild it.
Matthew May 09, 2012 at 04:50 PM
I've lived in Wantagh my whole life and only discovered the Hotel several years ago. Is it even used as a hotel? I've heard a lot of things going on there. Is it Section 8 Housing? I mean, the exterior of the building looks like a dive. I can only imagine what's going on inside.
Jerry May 09, 2012 at 05:22 PM
I guess the place should be closed and the owners will be able to come up with the $610 K then. Also tear it down and let someone develop it for megabucks and then have the TOH and Nassau County not allow them to open it! It has happened in the area before.
Richard May 10, 2012 at 01:39 AM
I had the privelage of sitting in on a Wantagh-Seaford home owners Assoc meeting one night in which the 7th Pct CO and other suervisors attended. When I spoke to them regarding the hotel and that it houses homeless, possible section 8, maybe even uncharted pedophiles and was a confirmed drug dealing and buying location with multiple arrests made in regards, i was told that there was no such situation and i was mistaken. The 7th Pct then proceeded to initiate mandatory patrols around the hotel and immediate blocks by both police officers and auxilary. During the time frame of these patrols, arrests were made, long term stay individuals were supposedly evicted and things became quiet for a short time. Now like everything else that goes away, the patrols seemed to stop and the characters are again walking the streets drunk and drugged, ending up on residents property and looking into windows, and im sure the typical stealing things from cars will once again begin. What will it take for politicians, high ranking police, or just the county in general to act on this mess of a place? Does someone have to get hurt, a child (considering the blocks surrounding the area are packed with children), and then some super hero politician will decide its time to close it down and clean it up, yet the damage has been done. Maybe they are scared because if it closes down then the republican club wont be able to have their meetings there anymore. Politics always get in the way of safety.
Rob May 11, 2012 at 11:48 AM
It just goes to show you what a good political hook can do for you. If one of us tried skipping out on our taxes for a decade or two im sure Mangano himself would be banging on our doors the bill. Watch now as the Republican club hooks them up with some type of tax amnesty program or debt forgiveness where they pay little to nothing untill this blows over. Im sure if one of the crack heads from the JBH was doing the crack head lean down Peter Schmitt's block and wondering into backyards it might be a lil different.
Dawn Davis May 11, 2012 at 12:38 PM
Do they own the restaurant also?
Matthew May 12, 2012 at 11:38 PM
Dawn, Yes, there is a restaurant in the hotel. It's called Per Un Angelo.
Dave B October 31, 2012 at 06:41 PM
I am from Wisconsin and have stayed at the hotel several times when I have come to visit Jones Beach. The hotel is not elegant, and some might say a bit rough, but I have always enjoyed it. The staff is very attentive. And the restaurant is not to be missed! JMHO
Dave B October 31, 2012 at 06:42 PM
PS I am not on Section 8 nor a crackhead. LOL

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