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RPTAC EQUALIZATION SUBCOMMITTEE

MINUTES
MEETING OF WEDNESDAY FEBRUARY 16, 2000
10:00 A.M. - 3:00 P.M.; MANLIUS TOWN HALL

ATTENDING:

Assessors: B. Bounds,Dave Briggs, Anne Sapienza, and R. Tibbetts

County Directors: T. Bloodgood, , Paul Burckard, Rick Dean

ORPS: John Harkin (Facilitator), Tim Maher, Jim O'Keeffe, Ramon Rodrigues, JoAnn Whalen (Recorder), Dave Williams

OPENING BUSINESS

Bob Diener had called in the morning and said that he could not attend. Jim O'Keeffe requested 15-20 minutes to discuss legislative proposals and the group agreed.

LEGISLATIVE UPDATE:

ORPS has received verbal acknowledgement around 4 proposals: a technical amendments bill; an oil and gas bill that would make the annual fee permanent and exempt methane gas from units of production; an equalization bill in which uniform % becomes the school apportionment rate in the year of a reassessment and 3 years for certified school status. Electrical generating facilities at local option and for a defined period of time would become exempt with PILOTs made and if not agreed to there will be some provision for holding the assessing unit harmless-this takes these properties out of equalization and out of apportionment-also a local option phase in for schools and county tax impact. Details are still being worked out and no language has yet been reviewed. There was considerable discussion around the generating facilities proposal, which is very similar to what the large parcel group tried to do a few years ago. The group also discussed the Board meeting on 2/15 and the discussion/decisions around the Town of Lumberland, which has one of these facilities.

1999 RATES STATUS:

Tim presented a handout with these summary numbers: 995 established with 278 assessing units at 100.00 and 79 complaints filed. In addition we made 24 1999 rates final in time for their use in the 1999 school apportionment process. It was noted that for the 1999 rates, the number and percentage of rate complaints was substantially lower than any previous time when a new market value survey was introduced into the rate process. Historically, the number of rate complaints associated with a new market value survey was as high as 300-350 assessing units. There was discussion around expanding the rounding in the rate calculation from 2% to something more. This would increase the number of assessing units with rates equal to 100.00.

2000 CURRENT RATE CRITERIA:

As noted, we issued 24 final rates by mid August for use in the 1999 school apportionment process-referred to as current rates for current rolls. Tim Maher presented criteria proposed for 2000 rates where our Strategic Management Plan calls for us to issue at least 50 current year rates for current rolls. Criteria includes: 24 assessing units where 1999 current rate/current roles were established; 2000 reassessments within the same geographic area; and where full value estimate for 1999 rates is significantly different-10% or more-from the 2000 full value estimate. Each criteria set was accompanied by a separate GIS map and a composite map with 66 assessing units which meet the criteria. This information has been distributed internally also and decisions will be made by March 1 so assessing units can be engaged and the adjustments can be determined and applied in a timely manner.

STATE OWNED LAND DISCUSSION

Dave distributed a handout, which explained procedures to handle reassessments/non reassessments in the rate calculation and a summary of the significance of SOL in the 437 assessing units, which contain SOL. 284 assessing units have not conducted timely reassessments for use in full value measurement. Of the 153 current timely reassessment places, 112 have less than 5% and 41 have more than 5% of SOL full value. Of the 41,which have more than 5%, ORPS uses the locally determined values in 19 and OPRP determined values in 22. Dave will break down the 284 non-reassessment places for significance also and look at the possible ramifications of adopting the same SOL rate calculation methodology for both reassessments and non-reassessments. Also, ORPS will look into the effects of increasing the tolerance limits to 10% for the difference between the ORPS and the local full values. Discussion was mostly about the valuation methodology. This dates back to the 20s. Discussion also around the state's dual role of property tax manager, which is handled in the assessment review process and the equalization role. There were a number of areas where internal modifications relative to sharing values/schedules sooner and the implementation of annual reassessments would solve many of the issues around the valuation disagreements. Annual reassessment places will lead the way with these efforts. Future issues to be discussed: tolerances in the equalization calculation for non- reassessment assessing units; procedural issues-short term and timing for annual reassessment places; valuation methodology-who and how; highest/best use issues.

ANNUAL REASSESSMENT:

JoAnn led a discussion around the four points of 1573-maintenance aid for annual reassessments: uniformity at 100%; systematic analysis; adjustments as necessary to maintain uniformity at 100%; and a six year plan for inspection and reappraisal. JoAnn then discussed in more detail systematic analysis and the four steps/activities: gather inventory data including market data; group/stratify data; perform analytical techniques-diagnosis of market changes and prescriptive in changing values as indicated by market changes and within the structure of the 2 by 2 matrix-uniformity and level tests which indicate trending and or reappraisal necessary to maintain uniformity at 100% and meet the six year reappraisal requirement. All property types and value ranges fall within the 2 by 2 decision grid. There was much discussion around this topic.

The discussion/dialogue prevented us from discussing in enough detail two very important items: rates beyond 2000-how and what; and trending techniques for equalization purposes. Our next meeting will be Wednesday April 5, 2000 from 10-3 in Manlius to discuss these two topics. If time allows we will continue discussion on state owned land and deregulation. Agenda included.

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