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Hamptons' Home County Turns to False-Alarm Fees After Downgrade

  • Taps a national trend of local governments implementing fines
  • Suffolk downgraded by Standard & Poor's as deficits linger
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For the billionaires with homes in Long Island’s Hamptons, a $50 fee for false security alarms won’t mean much. For Suffolk County, it would mean $7.3 million to help close a deficit that’s triggered a cut to its credit rating.

The fee is part of County Executive Steve Bellone’s $2.9 billion proposed budget that local lawmakers will vote on next month. If it’s adopted, the county would join a long-term push by local governments from Los Angeles to Cincinnati to claw back the more than $1.8 billion spent annually when police respond to phantom burglaries.