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Sat. May 18th, 2024

New York City relies on the Department of Finance (DOF) to assess property and collect the taxes that fund critically important City functions. Two recent audits from Comptroller Stringer, however, highlighted serious shortcomings at this important agency.

The first audit, released in January, examined the DOF’s oversight of the Co-Op/Condo Tax Abatement, a program designed to give individual homeowners tax relief.  It found that the Department of Finance mistakenly gave $10 million in improper tax breaks to 1,085 private corporations and LLCs between Fiscal Years 2013 and 2016. An additional 164 tax breaks were given to properties that weren’t even residences, including parking spaces, gardens, and storage areas.

second audit released in February identified 197 mixed-use buildings in Brooklyn which were incorrectly listed as residential on the Department of Finance’s tax rolls. According to auditors, if these properties aren’t re-inspected and re-classified as commercial, the City will miss out on $2.09 million of tax revenue over the next five years.

When the City isn’t able to collect money it’s owed, it means our tax system isn’t being applied fairly. These funds could be used to improve our schools, put more police on the streets, or house homeless New Yorkers. DOF must correct its policies and procedures and begin collecting the correct taxes.

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