New York City Department of Finance

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NYS Comptroller


Taxpayers' Guide to State and Local Audits

New York City Department of Finance
Selected Controls Over the Property Tax Assessment Process (Follow-Up)

Issued: January 6, 2020
Link to full audit report 2019-F-30

To determine the extent of implementation of the ten recommendations included in our initial report, Selected Controls Over the Property Tax Assessment Process (2015-N-1).

About the Program
The New York City Department of Finance (DOF) is responsible for assessing all real property throughout the City – approximately 1.05 million properties per year worth a total market value of more than $1 trillion. New York City Administrative Code 11-207 requires taxable properties to be examined every three years and non-taxable properties every five years.

There are four tax classes for property in New York City: Class 1 covers one- to three-unit residential properties; Class 2, residential properties of more than three units; Class 3, most utility properties; and Class 4, commercial and industrial properties and properties not included in the previous tax classes. The tax classification determines how property value is assessed.

DOF uses the Computer-Assisted Mass Appraisal system (CAMA) for property tax valuations. Assessors determine parcel market value using one of several valuation methods based on the parcel’s tax class. Once market value is determined, the assessed value is a percentage calculation of the market value.

Our initial audit, issued on July 11, 2017, found that DOF's Property Division did not conduct necessary inspections for over half of the parcels we reviewed, and assessors frequently did not document the basis for assessment changes. Mass updates to the CAMA system did not always include the user ID of the official requesting the change or the official executing the change.

Key Finding
We found that DOF made progress in addressing the problems we identified in the initial audit report. Of the ten audit recommendations, three were implemented, six were partially implemented, and one was not implemented.

Key Recommendation
Officials are given 30 days after the issuance of the follow-up review to provide information on any actions that are planned to address the unresolved issues discussed in this review.

State Government Accountability Contact Information:
Audit Director: Carmen Maldonado
Phone: (212) 417-5200; Email:
Address: Office of the State Comptroller; Division of State Government Accountability; 110 State Street, 11th Floor; Albany, NY 12236