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Department of Taxation and Finance

EQUALIZATION PROJECT TEAM

MINUTES
Wednesday, February 16, 2005

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.;
ORPS Albany Office

 Attending:

Assessors:  Dave Briggs, Curt Schoeberl, Walter Smead, Roger Tibbetts

County Directors:  Barry Miller

ORPS:   Tim Maher, Jim O'Keeffe, Tom Pinto 

Others: Tom Frey, Todd Wiley, Dave Williams, Bruce Sauter, Chuck Aviza, Bob Gawrelsk 

Pre-decisional Collaboration (PDC) Process:

We reviewed the status of the PDC process for 2005 equalization rates in relation to the schedule we developed for PDC in July 2004.  In general the team thinks the 2005 PDC process was better than the 2004 process.  We agreed that more improvements are needed for 2006 PDC.  The specific improvement areas are:

1)      need to share status of inventory data and sales data earlier in the cycle

2)      need to identify what data assessors need to supply to the CRMs

3)      need a more consistent message from CRMs

4)      need to improve communications

5)      need a quicker response to data submitted by assessors

6)      need to do a better job explaining process

7)      need a PDC guide (explaining when, who, how) and PDC training

8)      need labels for meetings (ex. PDC meeting, process meeting, final PDC meeting)

9)      we need to encourage the assessors to provide more data

The team decided that we should develop guidelines for 2006 PDC.  The guidelines will explain the process and address the improvement areas listed above.  The plan is to develop the guidelines by July 31.  By the end of September the CRMs will meet with the assessors and county directors and distribute the guidelines, explain the process and explain the schedule.  We will also offer training on PDC at the assessor's association conference in September.

 We developed a draft schedule for 2006 PDC.  We will finalize the schedule at our meeting in April.

Rules & Legislation Update:

Jim reported that on January 25, 2005 the State Board adopted procedures for 2005 State equalization rates and procedures for establishing special rates for school tax apportionment (segment rates) in 2005. 

Criteria for Appraising the Same Property in Consecutive Market Value Surveys:

The team discussed the criteria for appraising the same property in consecutive market value surveys.  The team thinks that at least 33 percent of the properties appraised should be properties that were not appraised in the previous market value survey. 

Tim distributed a list by municipality of the number of appraisals conducted for the 2005 market value survey and the number of these appraisals that were appraised in the previous market value survey.  Statewide 65 percent of the properties appraised are properties that were not appraised in the previous market value survey.  However, in about one fourth of the municipalities less than 33 percent of the appraisals are new properties.

The team decided that for the 2006 market value survey that every effort will be made to ensure that at least 33 percent of the properties we appraise in each municipality will be properties that were not appraised in the previous survey.

Development of Commercial Trends in Ulster County:

Bruce Sauter and Curt Schoeberl discussed a joint effort between assessors, ORPS and county staff to analyze the commercial market place in Ulster County.  The initial commercial trends developed by ORPS for Ulster County for the 2005 equalization rates varied between 10 and 14%.  The initial trends were developed using sales of commercial properties in Ulster County.

As part of the PDC process the assessors in Ulster County collected income data for a number of properties in Ulster County.  They also interviewed private sector appraisal experts in the area.  The local officials and ORPS staff analyzed the data and determined that more appropriate commercial trends for the municipalities in Ulster County are between 2 and 5 percent.  One of the key reasons for the success of the project was that local officials were able to collect commercial income data and shared this data with ORPS.

The team discussed the process and agreed that we need to determine how we can expand this process to other counties in the state and how we can expand the process to include farm and vacant properties.

Other issues:

Tim distributed a report that listed the total sales excluded by condition code for every city and town in the state for the time period from July 1, 2003 to June 30, 2004.  This information was requested at our meeting in December 2004.

The team decided to create a list of action items.  The team will review the list at the beginning and end of every meeting. 

Next meeting – Wednesday, April 13, 2005 in the Syracuse office of ORPS from 10-3.  We will video-conference to the ORPS Newburgh office.  Proposed agenda topics include:

-         Review draft 2006 PDC schedule

-         Review outline for 2006 PDC guidelines

-         Determine how we will develop guidelines (Who?, When?)

-         Decide how we will expand the Ulster County project to other counties

-         Discuss the sampling procedures for property classes that are a small percentage of the assessing unit

Updated: