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Tricia Chiaramonte

Incumbent Brookhaven Receiver of Taxes Louis Marcoccia Photo by Raymond Janis

By Aidan Johnson

As Tuesday’s elections quickly approach, Town of Brookhaven residents will mostly choose between two candidates for each race. However, in the case of the Office of Receiver of Taxes, only one candidate is running an active campaign: incumbent Louis Marcoccia (R). The name of the other candidate, Tricia Chiaramonte (D), does appear on the ballot but she has not run a campaign. 

Before he was the receiver of taxes, Marcoccia owned a computer consulting firm and taught at universities such as Hofstra.

Marcoccia sat down with TBR News Media to discuss his job, priorities, why he wanted to be the receiver of taxes and more.

Functions of the office

Marcoccia said the primary purpose of the receiver of taxes is to receive and process the payments of the taxing districts, of which the town collects about $1.8 billion and then passes on the dollars to finance for the final distribution.

The office also has to deal with bounced checks, which results in penalty fees for the persons who try to pay with them.

Marcoccia also warned about people who will pay someone else’s taxes because if they were to pay it before the person who owns the property does, he has to reject the second check. After a certain period of years, if the person has a pattern of paying taxes on a property, they could claim the property. While Marcoccia said this phenomenon doesn’t happen much anymore, he still monitors it.

Marcoccia also explained that one of the reasons the receiver of taxes is an elected position is to create a distinction between the distribution of money and the person who collects the money so that it is less likely that anyone could steal public money.

There are multiple infrastructure guardrails put into place, with Marcoccia saying that they don’t go home “until we balance” every day and that when he transfers the money, nobody can change where the destination is.

“We have the accounting function that balances, never touches the money, and the people that actually touch the [checks],” he said, explaining that the person who manages the books does not have access to the money deposited daily.

This must be done on time since the office must distribute the money to the taxing districts, such as school districts and fire departments. Marcoccia noted that villages collect their own taxes.


Marcoccia said that he has automated his office, which formerly had 38 employees but, through attrition, now has 23, saving many dollars in salaries and benefits.

The office also put in an online system to allow people to pay online, with around 70% of the taxpayers using that option. While Marcoccia said that the office can still make mistakes, for the past decade there have been no deficiencies.

Marcoccia said he has a great deal of respect for his office staff, saying that he rarely has raised his voice at them. While he may be an elected official, he does not care about the politics of the job, only focusing on the work that needs to be done.

Marcoccia said he makes sure to offer inclusive options, such as special software for blind people and having a sign language interpreter for those who need one. He also said that they answer all emails within 24 hours.

He also said that he would keep files from decades ago, despite not being obligated to do so, in case a resident requires a document such as a tax bill from a bygone era.

Marcoccia has a philosophy that “if you have a discretionary call, make the error on the side of the taxpayer.” This includes putting a mailbox in front of the tax office in front of Town Hall, which allows somebody to pay their taxes without facing a dollar penalty if they try to pay it on the last day of tax day after the office is already closed.

“If you’re five minutes late, you stick it in the box that’s outside, and the next time we collect that, we assume it’s on time,” he explained.

Why run?

Marcoccia said that it is about running a department. He has no interest in running for Town Board, county Legislature or state office. Instead, he thoroughly enjoys the day-to-day functions of running a department.

“I consider myself a very good manager,” he said. “That’s what I do best.”

Voting will take place Tuesday, Nov. 7.