Bloomberg Anywhere Login

Bloomberg

Connecting decision makers to a dynamic network of information, people and ideas, Bloomberg quickly and accurately delivers business and financial information, news and insight around the world.

Company

Financial Products

Enterprise Products

Media

Customer Support

  • Americas

    +1 212 318 2000

  • Europe, Middle East, & Africa

    +44 20 7330 7500

  • Asia Pacific

    +65 6212 1000

Communications

Industry Products

Media Services

Follow Us

New York Property Tax Changes Recommended by Grand Jury

Aug. 1 (Bloomberg) -- New York City’s property-tax system needs to be changed to prevent false document filings, a state grand jury found.

The grand jury’s report, announced today by Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr., examined the filing of false documents and information about properties including rentals, condominiums, cooperatives, hotels and parking garages. Authorities don’t have enough power to deter false filings and face a high cost to investigate them, the grand jury said.

“Some unscrupulous individuals and entities routinely try to cheat the city out of this valuable revenue stream by filing false information with city agencies,” Vance said in a statement. Property taxes are New York’s single biggest revenue source, he said.

The report makes seven recommendations, including civil sanctions for false filing, new technology to detect property tax fraud and changes to the criminal law that would make some tax offenses felonies.

The proposed changes cover Real Property Income and Expense statements, which are required for any property assessed at greater than $40,000. This year’s deadline for such forms to be filed is Sept. 4.

Earlier Deadline

The grand jury recommended setting the annual deadlines in June, giving more time to evaluate information in the filings, and the City Council recently introduced legislation to implement that change, according to Vance’s statement.

Property owners would also be asked to make a sworn statement about the truthfulness of their filings, allowing those who lie to be prosecuted for perjury.

“Everyone is hurt when false filings lead to inaccurate assessments, and some property-owners don’t pay their fair share of the tax burden,” said Glenn Newman, president of the city tax commission.

The grand jury report stemmed from an investigation by Vance’s office into false filings. One study the grand jury looked at showed 60 percent of property owners failed to report income from signs posted on their property in documents seeking to lower their taxes.

To contact the reporter on this story: Tiffany Kary in New York at tkary@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Pickering at jpickering@bloomberg.net

Please upgrade your Browser

Your browser is out-of-date. Please download one of these excellent browsers:

Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Opera or Internet Explorer.