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EQUALIZATION PROJECT TEAM

MINUTES
Wednesday, April 13, 2005

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.;
Video-Conference Between ORPS Syracuse & Newburgh Offices

 Attending:

Assessors:  Tom Frey, Edye McCarthy, Curt Schoeberl, Walter Smead, Roger Tibbetts, Todd Wiley

County Directors:  Paul Burckard, Bob Diener, Barry Miller

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

New Members:

Two new members were introduced to the team.  Tom Frey, the Executive Secretary of the New York State Assessors' Association, and Todd Wiley, assessor for the Town of New Windsor and President of the New York State Assessors' Association. 

Team Membership:

We discussed the membership on the team.  Some members felt that it was important to have members from each region of the state.  For example we do not have any assessors from the western region.  Some members also said that it is important that we have members that are from communities that annually maintain uniform assessments at 100 percent of value.  Tom Frey and Todd Wiley said that in their positions in the statewide New York State Assessors' Association they represent all the assessors throughout the state. 

It was noted that the charter for RPTAC states that there will be six members from each of the three groups (assessors, directors and, ORPS), however our team charter does not limit the members from any group.  It was also noted that our team charter has not been modified in about eight years and the charter identifies the original members of the team.  The original members included four assessors, eleven county directors and four ORPS staff.

We decided that we will not limit the number of members on the team.  We agreed that the number of members could change over time as the issues we are dealing with change.  It will continue to be the responsibility of each group to appoint the appropriate members to the team. We also decided that we will update the team charter.

Rules & Legislation Update:

Jim discussed four ORPS program bills that have been introduced in the legislature.  They are:

1)      Provides enhanced financial assistance to new or expanded coordinated assessment programs (CAPs).  The legislation calls for an additional $5 per parcel (for a total of $12 per parcel) for CAPs that are created in 2006, 2007 or 2008 (S5256/A7872);

2)      Improves and simplifies the annual notification provided to participants in the STAR Income Verification Program (S5292/A7871);

3)      Increases the limit for small claims assessment review from $150,000 to $450,000.  The proposed legislation states that a property is eligible for small claims assessment review if the equalized value of the property does not exceed $450,000 or in the event such equalized value exceeds $450,000, the total assessment reduction requested does not exceed 25% of the assessed value of the property (S5293/A7870); 

4)      Provides that special franchise assessments will be determined using the current roll LOA rather than the prior year State equalization rate (S5294/A7869).  

Jim reported that two sets of rules have been published and he expects the State Board to adopt these rules at their meeting on June 13, 2005.  They are:

1)      Allows for the payment of assessor training expenses that are submitted after the deadline for submitting vouchers;

2)      Concerns the identification of “assessment record billing owners' in connection with public condemnation hearings.   

2005 Rates Status and Issues:

Tim reported that ORPS plans to establish tentative rates for all municipalities with a May 1 tentative roll date by the end of May and to establish final rates for all of these municipalities by July 26. 

Pre-decisional Collaboration (PDC) Process:

We finalized the 2006 PDC schedule we developed in February.  We reviewed the draft outline for the 2006 PDC guidelines and made some minor changes.    

We formed a sub-team (Edye McCarthy, Barry Miller and Tom Pinto) to develop guidelines for 2006 PDC.  The sub-team will distribute draft guidelines prior to our meeting on June 15, 2005.  The plan is to develop final 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.

Development of Alternative Methods for Valuing Commercial and Vacant Classes:

Todd Wiley reported that the NYSAA has created a Market Analysis Committee.  The committee members are Pat Duffy, Bill Quick, Curt Schoeberl, Tim Shears and Todd Wiley.  One of the goals of the committee is to expand the Ulster and Orange County processes for developing trends to other counties in the State. 

They want to develop a plan to encourage assessors to collect lease data and place this data on a countywide or statewide database.  They also want to create a template for the database.  The committee plans to provide education to assessor at the NYSAA conference in September.

Next meeting – Wednesday, June 14, 2005 in the ORPS Syracuse office from 10-3.  We will video-conference to the ORPS Newburgh office. Proposed agenda topics include:

-         Review the 2006 PDC Guidelines

-         Status of 2005 equalization rates

-         Discuss how we expand the Ulster and Orange County trend process to other counties

-         Identify steps to improve trending process for vacant and farm properties. Goo

Updated: