Skip universal navigation
Skip to main content

Department of Taxation and Finance

Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) | Request Tax Department records through the New York State Freedom of Information Law

Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)

Request Tax Department records through the New York State Freedom of Information Law

Overview

The Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)—Article 6 § 84-90 of the NYS Public Officers Law—provides the public with the right to access government records—with certain exceptions.

Record means any information (in any physical form) kept, held, filed, produced, or reproduced by, with, or for the Tax Department. Records include—but are not limited to—reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or disks, rules, and regulations or codes.

For more information, visit Open FOIL NY: Your gateway to public records.


About FOIL requests

Use Open FOIL NY to submit your request online

Submit an open foil request

Submit a written request

In addition to submitting a request online, you may submit a written FOIL request:

  • by mail:

    RECORDS ACCESS OFFICE
    NYS DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION AND FINANCE
    W.A. HARRIMAN CAMPUS
    BLDG 9 ROOM 100
    ALBANY NY  12227
     
  • by fax: 518-435-8548

  • by email:
    • for non-property tax data to FOIL requests, or 
    • for property tax data to ORPTS FOIL (visit Municipal Profiles for real property municipality information).

      Email is not a secure online service; if your request includes taxpayer-specific information, please choose another submission option. 

  • in person:
     
    You may submit a written request for records in person by appointment at our main offices located in Building 9, State Office Campus, Albany, New York. You must call our Office of Counsel at 518-457-2070 in advance to make an appointment during our regular business hours (Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.). Please be advised that requested records will not immediately be available for review.

We cannot accept FOIL requests over the phone.


Records Appeals Officer

OFFICE OF COUNSEL
DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION AND FINANCE
BUILDING 9 STATE OFFICE BUILDING CAMPUS
ALBANY NY  12227


Questions

If you have any questions, you can reach us at 518-457-2070 between 8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m., weekdays.

Within five business days of receipt of your written request, we will send you a letter acknowledging the request. The letter will provide you with an estimate of when the records will be available. Some of the factors we consider when determining this estimate include:

  • the number of documents you request,
  • the format of the documents,
  • the availability of the documents,
  • the time it takes us to redact any information we cannot disclose (pursuant to FOIL), and
  • the time it takes us to assemble the documents.

If you do not receive an acknowledgement letter, please contact us at 518-457-2070 or foil.requests@tax.ny.gov.

The Tax Department’s standard procedure is to provide documents by mail. However, you may request to receive your documents electronically or to inspect them in person. If you would like to:

  • receive your documents electronically, please specify this in your request and we will provide you with instructions.
  • personally inspect the records, please indicate this in your request; we'll inform you if and when the records are available. Once informed, you must call our Office of Counsel at 518-457-2070 to make an appointment for the inspection during our regular business hours (Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.). Please note that any fee associated with the production of the records will be due at or before your public inspection appointment.

Fees

Unless a different fee is otherwise noted, we may charge you a fee of:

  • 25¢ per copy of each record up to 9”x 14”, or
  • the actual cost of reproducing each record.

If the copying fees for your request are $250 or more (for 1000 or more pages), our Records Access Office will send the records only after it receives your payment.

What we may include when determining cost

In determining the cost of producing a record, the Tax Department may include only:

  • an amount equal to the hourly salary of our lowest-paid employee who has the necessary skills to prepare the requested records (when the employee spends at least two hours to prepare them);
  • the cost of the storage devices or media we provide to you; and
  • if applicable, the cost to use an outside professional service to prepare a copy of a record when the department's information technology equipment cannot adequately prepare a copy.

Records Appeals Officer

OFFICE OF COUNSEL
DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION AND FINANCE
BUILDING 9 STATE OFFICE BUILDING CAMPUS
ALBANY NY  12227

Under provisions of the Public Officers Law, you may appeal our FOIL determination. To make an appeal, respond to our written determination within 30 days with:

  • an appeal letter that outlines your concerns and includes your FOIL request number,
  • a copy of your original request for records, and
  • a copy of the FOIL response letter you received from us.

Mail your response to:

OFFICE OF COUNSEL
DEPARTMENT OF TAXATION AND FINANCE
BUILDING 9 STATE OFFICE BUILDING CAMPUS
ALBANY NY  12227

We will inform you of our decision, in writing, within ten business days of receiving your appeal.

The following is a list of the records, by subject matter, that we maintain. (Please note, some records may be exempt from disclosure, pursuant to FOIL.)

  • affirmative action plan, with Americans with Disabilities Accommodation requests, employment data forms, resume files, employee rosters and survey records
  • bond certifications
  • business and/or individual taxpayer registration/incorporation records; vendor and/or agent listings
  • business and/or individual tax liability records, seizures, warrants, telephone contact reports
  • child support information (in conjunction with NYS Office of Children and Family Services)
  • conference documents: Conciliation and Mediation Services, Office of Counsel, Audit Division
  • contract award information, Requests for Proposal, Technical and Financial Proposals, related correspondence
  • correspondence received by the Department from taxpayers and/or outside agencies and responses
  • decisions and determinations of State Tax Commission, Administrative Law Judges, and Tax Appeals Tribunal
  • departmental directives, policies, notifications
  • disclosure requests and responses
  • employees' unions: procedures, forms, roster information
  • federal/state/city exchange of information procedures
  • FOIL requests, responses and appeals
  • hazardous waste reports (in conjunction with NYS Department of Environmental Conservation)
  • individual and/or business taxpayer audit files
  • internal Audit and Quality Control reports
  • internal work assignment records, tracking records, and inventories
  • inventory of all tax forms and instructions, publications, notices
  • legal: departmental litigation, legislation, opinions, tax rulings/regulations, resolutions
  • legislative and budget documents
  • mailing lists
  • organizational charts/floor plans
  • personal privacy protection law requests, responses and appeals
  • personnel records: payroll, rosters, time records, performance indicators, grievances, disciplinary action, awards/commendations, travel records, insurance/medical records
  • press office releases and newsclips
  • property tax freeze credit information
  • revenue distributions
  • speeches and schedules
  • School Tax Relief (STAR) information
  • statistical reports: by tax, division/office, business, locality
  • subpoenas
  • systems design, testing and analyses records
  • tax filings by individual and/or business taxpayers; refund information; telephone contact reports
  • training and/or instructional manuals/materials
  • treasury: checks, bank tapes, investment and expenditure data

Office of Real Property Tax Services

  • Real Property Data Management (data available for most recent 10 years)
    • Assessors reports: Summary of total assessed value of locally assessed property, list of changes of total assessed value and changes in level of assessment factors for cities, towns and villages
    • Assessment rolls: Stored on electronic media pursuant to RPTL, Article 15-C
    • Sales: Real Property Transfer Reports and sales correction documents
  • Education: Local assessment officials
    • Educational and class attendance records for assessors, board of assessment review members, real property appraisers and county directors
    • List of candidates for appointed assessor positions
  • Equalization rates (generally, data available for most recent 10 years)
    • Adjusted base proportion and current base proportion data submitted by localities
    • Certificates of final state equalization rates
    • County equalization
    • Market value survey data used in determining rates
    • Notices of apportionment rates
    • Notices of class equalization rates
    • Notices of class ratios
    • Notices of residential assessment ratios and computation reports
    • Notices of special equalization ratios and computation reports
    • Notices of special equalization rates
    • Notices of tentative State equalization rates
    • Rate computation reports (Data Reports 1-6)
  • Regional offices
    • Appraisal selection reports with locator maps of appraisals and sales sampled
    • Data in support of Sales Ratio Studies and Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal (CAMA) models used for the residential property class
    • Documentation to support appraised values for Market Value Survey sample selections
    • Appraisals of highly complex properties completed at request of local officials
    • Specific documentation for valuation methods used, such as regression models and comparable sale weights, for localities where ORPTS provided valuation processing
    • Written material by locality which may include: letters of agreement between locality and ORPTS, status reports on progress of current reassessment projects, requests for proposals sent by localities requesting contractor assistance, contracts between locality and contractor, requests from localities and service bureaus for software
    • Market Value survey data
    • Local Government Assistance Program
    • State Aid program: Documentation regarding certification or denial of applications for state aid
  • Real property research
    • Exemption report information (municipal summary level)
    • Coefficient of Dispersion data (municipal summary level)
  • Valuation services
    • Agricultural program: Agricultural assessment values
    • Oil and gas: Unit of Production Values
    • Railroad ceiling assessments: Company reports, ceiling calculations, notices and certificates
    • Special Franchise Assessments and Full Values: Company reports, calculations, notices and certificates
    • Telecommunications Ceilings for Mass Property in the Private Right-of-Way: Company reports, calculations, notices and certificates
    • Utility Values, which support the Full Value Measurement program: Equalization rate support (appraisals and trends) and advisory appraisals
    • Valuation support data: Site improvement costs and trending indices

State Board of Real Property Tax Services

  • agenda
  • appeals and complaints
  • meeting material
  • minutes and resolutions

When submitting a FOIL request:

  • Be as specific as possible in describing the requested records. Include relevant dates, names, descriptions, and so on. (See suggested language for a FOIL request from the Committee on Open Government.)
  • Specify whether you would like to inspect the records or have copies of the records sent to you.
  • Specify whether you want to receive the documents by U.S.P.S. mail or electronic delivery, or to review them in person. We may choose to send the records by U.S.P.S. mail if you request a large number of records, for security, or for other important reasons. We will notify you of any nonstandard charge for reproducing such documents before sending them.
  • Include your email, mailing address, and fax number, as well as a telephone number where we can reach you during business hours (in case it's necessary to clarify your request).
  • If you are requesting information relating to a particular taxpayer—including yourself—we will require a Form POA-1, Power of Attorney, or Form DTF 505, Authorization for Release of Photocopies of Tax Returns and/or Tax Information, showing you have the permission of the taxpayer to receive the information.

Please note, we are not required to create a new record in response to FOIL requests.

For more information about FOIL, visit New York State Department of State: Committee on Open Government.

Updated: