The Real Deal New York

Oops: City mistakenly gave away $10M in condo, co-op tax breaks

A recent audit shows that parking garages, storage spaces received the breaks

January 28, 2016 09:00AM

1040 tax form (credit: Free Stock Photos)

1040 tax form (credit: Free Stock Photos)

Wait a second, you’re not a residential co-op or condo — is probably what city officials said when it was discovered that more than $10 million in tax breaks mistakenly went to parking garages, storage spaces and other improper recipients.

Over the last four years, the city’s Finance Department gave out more than $10 million to indoor parking garages, gardens, storage spaces, three office buildings and two retail shops through a tax-rebate program intended for residential owners of co-ops and condos, according to an audit by city Comptroller Scott Stringer.

The audit shows that the Finance Department failed to properly review records, causing more than 1,000 corporate-owned condos and co-ops to improperly receive the tax benefits, the New York Post reported. The tax breaks ranged from 17.5 percent to 28.1 percent of the total tax bills each year, the newspaper reported.

“The city handed out millions in tax abatements to corporate-owned condos, parking spots and cabanas because no one bothered to review basic tax records,” Stringer said. “The Department of Finance needs to significantly step up its game and collect all the taxes the city is owed.”

The Finance Department is installing internal software to help catch this kind of mistake in the tax seasons ahead. [NYP] Kathryn Brenzel