78. Secrecy requirement and penalties for violation.-- Except in accordance with proper judicial order or as otherwise provided by law, it shall be unlawful for the administrator or any other officer or employee of the department, bureau or other agency of the city administering the tax imposed by this local law, any person engaged or retained by such administrator, department, bureau or other agency or an independent contract basis, or any person who, pursuant to this section, is permitted to inspect any report or return or to whom a copy, an abstract or a portion of any report or return is furnished, or to whom any information contained in any report or return is furnished, to divulge or make known in any manner the amount of income or any particulars set forth or disclosed in any report or return required under this local law. The administrator or any other officer and employee charged with the custody of such reports and returns shall not be required to produce any of them or evidence of anything contained in them in any action or proceeding in any court, except on behalf of the city in an action or proceeding under the provisions of this local law or in any other action or proceeding involving the collection of a tax due under this local law to which the city is a party or a claimant, or on behalf of any party to any action or proceeding under the provisions of this local law when the reports, returns or facts shown thereby are directly involved in such action or proceeding, in any of which events the court may require the production of, and may admit in evidence, so much of said reports, returns or of the facts shown thereby, as are pertinent to the action or proceeding and no more; except as provided in subdivision (e) of section seventy-seven. The administrator may, nevertheless, publish a copy or a summary of any determination or decision rendered after the hearing required under section sixty-nine of this local law. Nothing herein shall be construed to prohibit the delivery to a taxpayer or his duly authorized representative of a certified copy of any return or report filed in connection with his tax or to prohibit the publication of statistics so classified as to prevent the identification of particular reports or returns and the items thereof, or the inspection by the legal representatives of the city of the report or return of any taxpayer who shall bring action to set aside or review the tax based thereon, or against whom an action or proceeding under this local law has been recommended by the administrator. Reports and returns shall be preserved for three years and thereafter until the administrator orders them to be destroyed. Any violation of the provisions of this section shall be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars or by imprisonment not exceeding one year, or both, at the discretion of the court, and if the offender be the administrator or any other officer or employee of the city, he shall be dismissed from office and be incapable of holding any public office in the city or the state for a period of five years thereafter.
Last modified: February 3, 2019