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Queens Chronicle

Liu sues city to audit tax data

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Posted: Thursday, December 5, 2013 10:30 am

City Comptroller John Liu is not wrapping up his term in office quietly.

Liu announced on Wednesday that his office is suing the Bloomberg administration in order to access data on tax records that the city has denied even after being subpoenaed for it by the comptroller in October.

At issue is the general corporation tax, which Liu wants to audit to see if it is being assessed and collected correctly. The GCT is levied on corporations that do business, use capital, own or lease property, or have an office in the city. Liu said the tax for this year could be as high as $3 billion.

According to the comptroller, the city Law Department is relying on a bad opinion written 22 years ago to deny him the data. He points to the City Charter’s mandate that he be given access even to agency records that are otherwise confidential when doing audits. The Law Department could not immediately be reached for comment.

“It is our duty as the City’s fiscal watchdog to monitor this enormous tax collection enterprise and verify that it is fair to all and that the interests of all City taxpayers are being protected,” Liu, a former councilman from Flushing, said in announcing the suit.

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