Contact: Press Office
October 26, 2022 (New York, NY) – NYC Department of Finance (DOF) Commissioner Preston Niblack today announced two new senior staff appointments: Jeffrey Shear has been named DOF’s First Deputy Commissioner and Cesar Bencosme has been named Deputy Commissioner/Chief Tax Compliance Officer. First Deputy Commissioner Shear replaces Michael Hyman, who retired in October, while Deputy Commissioner Bencosme replaces Harry Leonard, who retired in June.
“Jeff Shear is a highly experienced and skilled administrator who has built his career in City government, taking on leadership roles, and managing key initiatives at the NYC Department of Finance, the Department of Education, and the Office of Management and Budget. His experience clearly demonstrates that he is uniquely suited to his new responsibilities,” said Department of Finance Commissioner Preston Niblack. “I congratulate Jeff on his new position and look forward to working with him even more closely to ensure DOF continues to serve its customers throughout the City with the highest level of efficiency, fairness, and transparency.
I am also pleased to announce the appointment of Cesar Bencosme as Deputy Commissioner/Chief Tax Compliance Officer. He brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to this important role, having served most recently as DOF’s Assistant Commissioner for Audit. Under his leadership, the Audit Division has helped ensure that taxpayers understand their liabilities and are in compliance with the City’s tax laws – and helped to generate a significant amount of revenue for the City.
These two appointments once again make clear that the Department of Finance is blessed with some of the most capable public servants in all of City government and I look forward to working with both of them in these new roles.”
First Deputy Commissioner Shear most recently served as the agency’s Deputy Commissioner for Treasury and Payment Services, where he was responsible for overseeing DOF’s Treasury, Payment Operations, Collections, Citywide Payments Services and Standards, Land Records, Parking Summons Operations and Parking Summons Adjudication, divisions. He began his career with DOF in 1985, working first for the Audit and Enforcement Division and later serving as chief of staff to the first deputy commissioner and as deputy assistant commissioner for the Collections Division. He returned to the department in 2014 after a successful tenure with the Office of Management and Budget and the New York City Department of Education, where he oversaw the capital and space planning for the city's 1,200 school buildings, including a $500 million effort to build science labs in high schools.
Under his leadership at DOF, he and his team were responsible for completing key DOF initiatives including the Forgiving Fines amnesty program, which produced $45 million in revenue and abated more than $100 million in penalties and interest for New Yorkers with environmental control board judgment violations. He and his team have also reduced the number of tax liens sold each year, developed property tax and interest deferral (PT AID) payment plans for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers, and started sending out warning emails to motorists whose vehicles may soon be at risk for booting due to unpaid parking tickets. His writing has been published in Government Finance Review, and he was a member of the city’s Task Force on the Tax Lien Sale Process. He holds a B.A. in government from Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
In his new role, First Deputy Commissioner Shear will have a high level of responsibility for formulation of agency policy and administration as he oversees Property, Audit & Enforcement, Tax Policy, Information Technology, and Employee Services. Serving in this key leadership role, he will also assist the commissioner in managing DOF and in reviewing and developing tax policy measures affecting the City’s tax system.
Deputy Commissioner/Chief Tax Compliance Officer Cesar Bencosme started with DOF in July 2013 as Senior Director of Audit and has spent the past 7 years as Assistant Commissioner for Audit after over 25 years in the private sector – and a stint as a tax auditor at DOF in 1986-1987. Under his leadership, the Audit Division has helped ensure that taxpayers understand their liabilities and are in compliance with the City’s tax. A CUNY graduate, Cesar is a member of the AICPA and the New York State Society of Certified Public Accountants.