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RPTAC Minutes

MINUTES
March 9 & 10, 2006
Hampton Inn, Latham, NY

Facilitator: Dave Leichenauer
Recorders: Janice Heeran
Assessors:Cathy Conklin, Patrick Duffy, Tom Frey, Rick Hubner, William Quick and J. Todd Wiley
County Directors:Valeria Coggin, Carol Holley, Caryn Kolts, John McCarey, Kathy Myers, and Michael Swan
ORPS: Tom Bellard, Don DeWitt, Dennis Jersey, Tim Maher, Rich Sinnott, Dave Williams
Others: Sally Cooney, Don Card, Geoff Gloak, Bob Gawrelski, Jeff Jordan, Steve King, Joe Muscarella, Jim O’Keeffe, Matt Riordan, Maureen Wetter, Tom Rutnik, Dave Shanley, Paul Szwedo, Robert Zandri, Edye McCarthy, Sue Otis, Curt Schoeberl

Housekeeping:
Minutes of December, 2005 will be reviewed on Day 2.

Rick Hubner brought up a website issue with MuniPro. The concern is with the authorization of the local official’s names and e-mail addresses that have now become available to the public through MuniPro. Explore the possibility of getting a sign-off from individual’s regarding the public release of their e-mail addresses, fax numbers etc.

Action Item #40 - Dave Leichenauer will look into Rick’s concerns regarding the authorization process for the information that appears on MuniPro.

What's New - Dave Williams shared the fact that Jeff Green is working on the 2006 ORPS customer satisfaction survey, which will soon be distributed via e-mail (web survey), fax, or regular mail depending on availability of e-mail addresses and fax numbers. This survey is being sent to sole assessors and chairmen of three member assessment boards, as well as city assessors and county directors throughout the state. The survey deals with satisfaction regarding various ORPS products and services.

    1.  
      1. The County Director’s Association will poll directors statewide to gather real numbers, and ask about overstock. The data gathered, will be forwarded to the regional offices. (Valeria Coggin)
      2. Bob Gawrelski will compile the numbers and present the info to Albany.
      3. Steve King will determine an ORPS plan of action in response.
      4. Distribution – to be determined
  • ORPS Publications – Assessment Appeals Booklets – Tom Frey
  • Cell Towers – Short presentation / info sharing – Don Card & Matt Riordan
  • Assessor Concerns / Issues – Dave Williams, Sally Cooney, Maureen Wetter
  • Budget Breakdown – Steve King
  • Assessment Practices in NYS – Rick Hubner
  • Sub-Groups Updates – Jeff Jordan, Tom Frey, Patrick Duffy
  • ORPS Marketing Video, Geoff Gloak
  • Farm Vacant Land – Jeff Jordan, Dennis Jersey, Mark Twentyman
  • Audit of Sales Patterns – Dave Williams
  • Sales Exclusions – J. Todd Wiley
  • Grant Program – JoAnn Whalen
  • ORPS Website Search Engine – Tom Rutnik, Paul Szwedo

Tom Frey spoke about concerns with the appeals (complaint) booklet, and the lack of availability. Assessors are concerned that there is an exceptionally short supply and that ORPS will not be reprinting this booklet. Tom read from a letter an assessor wrote stating frustration over the lack of available booklets. He went on to state that the shortage seems to be statewide.

Tom Bellard said if there is a clear need, we will provide it. ORPS will not do another full blown reprinting of the older booklet. We are currently working on a condensed version, aiming for a smaller publication. The booklet is now in draft form and is scheduled for distribution next cycle. Rick Hubner commented that the people who use the booklets should be included in the revision process.

Bob Gawrelski estimated that ORPS regions had approximately 18,000 booklets to distribute. Prior to this meeting, Valeria polled her association’s regional coordinators on what their actual needs were. The consensus was that more than 18,000 booklets are needed, possibly 56,000.

Steve King spoke about printing of the booklets. The last time that the booklets were printed was 2002. The ORPS position is that we can’t possibly print 60,000 forms at this point in time. If 18,000 copies are out there, that’s about 25% of the perceived number needed. He asked that everyone help us determine what is actually needed to get through this cycle.

Tom Frey suggested that ORPS get rid of the small claims material from the existing booklet, that it is not needed. It was also suggested that this shortened version be added immediately to the internet.

Valeria recalled that at an earlier meeting it was understood that the State would indeed supply this form, at the State’s expense.

Rich Sinnott pointed out the 1980 statute reads that the State shall ‘prepare’ the booklet. It goes on to say, that at its own ‘discretion’ the State can distribute this form, which would be at the State’s expense.

Don DeWitt said that the ORPS position is to encourage local officials, as well as the public, to use the internet for downloading forms. If it becomes necessary, ORPS will consider photocopying forms to get through this current cycle. We will need to know the “real world” number for the shortage, before we do anything.

The next item for discussion was “How would the assessors physically obtain/get these booklets?” Bob Gawrelski said the booklets would most likely be distributed regionally, through the CRMs. Tom Bellard reiterated the in-house expense of the printing the forms. The first choice should be to tell the public to get the forms from the internet. Don DeWitt commented that the expense is not only in the printing of the forms, but in the distribution of them as well. Distribution necessitates people driving from place to place, in an attempt to uniformly deliver these forms statewide.

Rick Hubner said it is the taxpayer that needs these forms. Senior citizens should be accommodated and not be referred to the internet to print these forms. We need to make an effort to work together to get these forms out there. We all have budget problems.

Dave Williams stated that this is a problem for this year only. Don DeWitt said we need to control any effort to print booklets, because we do not want to end up with a surplus at the end of this cycle.

Discussions were brought to a close and a plan of action, for responding to the availability issue, was developed and agreed to.

Action Item #41

Matt Riordan discussed the booklet and the valuation of cell towers, the sheds at the base of these towers, the anchoring, etc. This information is on our website as a pdf document. Matt referred to a court case, Nextel vs. Assessor of Spring Valley that is also posted on the website.

Most cell towers are on a ground lease. The parent parcel is in Roll Section 1, and the tower and other improvements are on a suffixed parcel which can be located either in Roll Section 1 or 6.

It was suggested that there be standardization for assessing cell towers. There seems to be more cell phones than land lines now. There is plenty of income information available now. Sue Otis mentioned that she had some income data she would be willing to share with Matt.

Question: What should we have on file as a record of ownership?
A permit is issued to the land/property owner. The backup info includes cost issues. The bill is issued to the property owner or the reputed owner, and within days the property owner contacts us with the name of the cell tower owner.

It is the responsibility of the owner to charge enough rent or lease price to cover this cost. The owner of this tower can take it down and never pay his part of the assessment, that’s why it is important for the land owner to charge enough to pay for the assessment of the cell tower.

Jim O'Keeffe mentioned that he and Steve Harrison had met with an assessor about whether the installation of a cell tower , owned by utility , on a building or facility owned by a not-for-profit corporation, which was receiving a section 420-a [RPTL] exemption from taxation , would affect the taxable status of the building (or the land on which it stood). Jim said that they had advised the assessor that it would not because the operation of the cell tower was an "incidental" use of the property which was otherwise used primarily for the not-for-profit organization's primary purposes.

Rich Sinnott offered to write an Opinion of Counsel on this cell tower issue. Rich requested that someone send him a real life example / request and he will then respond with the Opinion of Counsel.
(This topic came up again during wrap-up of Day Two. (See page 15))

Don Card will see that a Frequently Asked Questions section be established for Cell Towers. When posting a question, please provide ORPS with as much information as possible, such as location, types, etc. Once the Frequently Asked Questions section is up and running, we will announce it in our newsletter, as well as on the ORPS website.

Action Item #42 - Don Card will have a Frequently Asked Questions section establish on the ORPS website to deal with Cell Towers.

Action Item #43 - Once the Cell Tower Frequently Asked Questions site is established, Geoff Gloak will circulate the website’s location through our newsletter, etc.

Action Item #44 - Matt Riordan will work through Patrick Duffy to collect Income Data that Sue Otis is willing to share.

Action Item #45 - Rich Sinnott will take a real life case, submitted by a Town Assessor, and give an Opinion of Counsel.

Update on NY City:
(Jim O’Keeffe) There is nothing to report on NYC as this time.

A question was raised on how do we get good professional people to apply for assessor positions when a retirement occurs? Do we need to offer seminars to entice people to become assessors?

Valeria said there had been an effort by assessors to go in to community colleges and make presentations to the students. That kind of effort could also be used to reach out to high school students with a program / presentation. .

Rick Hubner said we need a proactive approach and this could be an effort to educate the town boards on the responsibilities of assessors.

Todd Wiley believes in letting Market Forces take place, in other words those that are willing to pay for good assessors will get them and those that aren’t so willing to pay, will get what they get.

An educational program to bring awareness to Town Boards and local officials on everything assessors are asked to accomplish. If there were more awareness around assessor responsibilities, towns may consider better salaries.

Dave Williams mentioned that on Day 2 of this session we will be viewing a draft video on this subject. We do offer classroom instruction to non-assessors, when available, but it is not reimbursable. We are still working on new educational requirements and training.

Bellard said that this is a good opportunity for the assessors, towns, etc. to offer internships to students to see if they would be interested in working in this type of job. Tom Frey said they have tried this approach.

It was mentioned that individuals who are market appraisers sometimes are interested in being an assessor.

Dave Williams reported that ORPS plans to send two letters to municipal CEO's:

Summer of 2006 - reminder that action is required by Feb 1, 2007 for towns considering forming a new or expanded CAP program (2007 or 2008 rolls), as well as a reminder that sole assessors terms will be expiring in September 2007. One assessor / multiple towns.

June of 2007 - a reminder letter that sole assessor terms end September 30, 2007 and it is time for 6-year assessor/director appointment action by October 1.

Steve King stated that there is not a budget in place for next year yet. ORPS no longer has a general fund. We currently have 3 sources of revenue.

1.) Sales reporting, 90% - we should be collecting about $40 million.

2.) Local services fund, 2.5% of revenue coming in. This money is dedicated to ORPS jobs. RPS license fees go into this fund.

3.) Industrial and Utility fund, which was initiated in 1991, 7.5%. We charge back to the Utility and Railroad companies for our Special Franchise valuation expenses. Oil and Gas companies are also charged using a statutory formula.

About 63% of monies in a typical cycle come from the top eight, which are: Albany Co., Erie Co., Monroe Co., Nassau Co., Onondaga Co., Suffolk co., Westchester Co., and New York City.

With the down shift of the market property sales, we will have to take a more serious approach to our budget.

Steve mentioned that ORPS funds employee fringe benefits, which is 50 cents per dollar.

Rick’s concern is where annual reassessment doesn’t occur; we need to develop a strategy to provide for assessment improvement in those municipalities. The state has a responsibility to advance good assessment practices statewide for the benefit of all taxpayers in New York.

Karen mentioned that there is a taxpayer revolt group, and stated there are not enough sales to provide a trend.

We need to look at other ways for equitable assessment and need to help those communities. Annual reassessment does not work for small towns.

Is there support to continue the Triennial Aid Program?

Sue Otis mentioned that Bette Little has sponsored a bill for triennial aid for $5 per parcel per year.

Local government owns the process of annual reassessment.

Joe Muscarella gave a brief summation of a project he is finishing up. It brings in assessors and mentors them, using their own data.

Valeria mentioned the ‘valuation cycle bill’. This bill would take the pressure off of the assessors.

Dave Williams mentioned that Tom Griffen interpreted the law to mean an annual program. He got legislation passed to do this.

Next Steps:
Look into what works and what doesn’t work in NYS. The Batavia office seems to have a structure in place that proves successful in meeting their regional demand. RPTAC would like to ask Joe to report back with more findings from his project. Then from the presentation and data that Joe shares, we can decide what we’d like to do next. RPTAC should also consider changes in the market place, the capacity of local assessors/resources, etc.

Dave Williams said ORPS could provide an organizational chart giving RPTAC information on where the new trainees are being deployed.

(Dave Williams, Joe Muscarella and Rick Hubner)
Perhaps hold a separate session to review this topic. What we hope to discuss:

  • What can we bring to the table to have a discussion on what we can do.
  • Bring data for discussion.
  • Discussion of what works and what doesn’t.
  • Why are some of the places successful and some are not.
  • What is the information telling us?


Bring results to next RPTAC meeting as an Agenda item.

Action Item #46 - Joe Muscarella will share more of his project / findings with RPTAC at a future date.

Action Item #47 - Dave W., Joe M. & Rick H. will brainstorm what data is useful (and available) to fuel RPTAC discussions around Assessment Practices in NYS. What works and what doesn’t.

Day 2

Reviews of December 2005 Minutes – With 2 minor adjustments the December minutes were approved.

Re-Visited C. Assessor Concerns (from Day 1)
Assessors asked for an opportunity to allow RPTAC to see this cycle’s Review of Appointment letter and Enhanced CAP Program letter.

Action Item #54 - Dave Williams will give RPTAC members an opportunity to view the Enhanced CAP Program letter. (Information Sharing)

Action Item #55 - Dave Williams will give RPTAC members an opportunity to view the Review of Appointment letter. (Information Sharing)

Valuation Issues Team (Jeff Jordan) – Jeff said the team added 3 new members: Matt Riordan, Tara Hoffman, and Sheryl Klewicki. Jeff said the group didn’t have a charge issue from RPTAC but met several times and discussed the Ulster County trending program, Saratoga County Survey Project, GAR and spent a lot of time talking about agriculture.

Training Governance Group (Tom Frey) - Tom had a complaint about the process, as a TGG member, he never saw a copy of the report prior to this RPTAC meeting and did not participate in formulating the annual summary. It was noted that Sally Cooney (ORPS) wrote up the 2005 summery, and that it was not a “team” report. It was also noted that the report lacks any information on New York City training.

A 10-day cost, market and income training course will be developed by the Assessors' Association to replace the 15-days of R-1, R-2 and G-1 appraisal training currently required.

Deadline is 2007 - the reappointment year. Problem, Cindy is doing a lot of work on her own and if ORPS could help her out it would be appreciated.

Team will meet again in a week or so, waiting for NYC rules. Talked about a wording change in the Charter.

Team has agreed to require Ethics training for basic certification and also for recertification of reappointed and re-elected assessors/directors. Subgroup is working on this and course is expected to be completed by 2007.

Rick Hubner asked if the team’s minutes were available on the website. We will check the website to verify that the minutes were being added to website. The minutes are usually sent to team members for approval, agreed upon and then added to website.

Training Gov web address -
http://www.orps.state.ny.us/training/governance/index.cfm

Property Class Code – Patrick Duffy opened and then asked Dave Shanley of ORPS to step-up and summarize the 2005 Report.

The team received a request to create a new property class code entitled: Vacant Land Property over 10 acres with a small improvement. The decision was made that a new property class code for this type of property is not needed at this time. The value of the property is predominantly in the land. The team received a request to create a new property class code to identify Single Family Residences with in-law apartments. The Team decided a new property class for residences with in-law apartments was needed, and recommended its creation to RPTAC.

Curt suggested the wording “In Law” in the new code be changed to “Family”. Many homes have secondary living areas in their homes for dependent children or other family members who cannot live on their own.

Tom Frey asked if this is passed, when would the RP-5217 form be changed. This form would not be affected. ORPS will review this form just to make sure.

Rick asked that the committee periodically review all property class codes. An example would be the 449 code. It was mentioned that review of codes was done about 5 years ago.

Tom Frey asked for a review of the codes for Forest land vs. Vacant land, a 323 compared to a 900.

It was noted that Bruce Sauter, who was the team leader, has retired. Membership needs to be addressed. The County Directors, Town Assessors and ORPS should all have three active members on the Property Class Code Team.

Action Item #49 - The Property Class Code Team will consider “Family” verses “In Law” in the property class code title, and will re-visit its description. (Patrick Duffy / Dave Shanley)

Action Item #50 - Vacancies on the Property Class Code Team need to be filled. Team is short three Co. Dir. Reps, and one ORPS Rep. The team also needs to determine a leader from within its membership. (RPTAC members)

Geoff showed 10 minutes of the new OPRS marketing video. The portion of the video RPTAC saw targeted Town Boards, School Boards and other local officials. Geoff mentioned that there is also a 30 minute video targeted for taxpayers.

The video was well received by RPTAC members.

Suggestions for improvement included:

  1. There should be a reinforcement comment at the end of the video that clearly states that resources are needed to accomplish this.
  2. This video should be viewed by assessors before being shown to town board members.
  3. ORPS has given thought to putting it on the website as a downloadable item.
  4. The CRMs should go through county association for distribution.
  5. Curt suggested this was geared too low. Perhaps use it as a learning video for students, that it is not complex enough for Board Members. Rick disagreed and said only minor changes needed to be made.
  6. Pat and Edye suggested including the RAR rates in the video.
  7. Valerie suggested adding a statement of ‘why’ we are doing this, that it’s the law. We still have to keep a uniformed level of assessment.
  8. There should be more ORPS videos on other related topics


Time line for completion and distribution of this video is April 1st.

Assessors in many parts of the state are handicapped by not having true farm sales information. Since farmland must be valued by current use principles, assessors as well as ORPS staff, need supporting data to accurately determine current use values for agricultural property. Mark Twentyman gave a brief introduction of the steps taken so far to determine the practicality of using vacant land sales coded as agriculture to aid assessors in farmland valuation. Sales were selected from the data warehouse. About 1,500 sales over the last 5 years remained after elimination of sales due to high price or less than 50 acres in size. These were put into a spreadsheet for analysis. This was sent to Curt S., and Todd W. Preliminary impressions: regression analysis did not produce any credible results. A GIS map illustrated the wide variations in value even in a relatively localized area. This can be explained by the diversity of soils and the disparate land use breakdowns of each sale, as well as each sale's circumstances which requires verification. To develop meaningful sales data it will be necessary to go to the field to verify the data for these properties. Due to staff limitations in this area, a small area should be studied first to better understand resource needs. Also, it was mentioned that Cornell University may be able to assist with some aspects of the farmland valuation study (Action item #33).

It was suggested that spatial analysis by soil type could also be done.

Valeria then reported out on Action Item #33. Valeria had contacted Joe Francis, of the Cornell Agricultural School, who works with their graduate students. They would love to undertake this project but are looking for a grant to accomplish it. A suggestion was made that a county might look into utilizing the ORPS RPTATIP Grant Program as a way to get this accomplished. Steve King commented that it might not be possible, the way the grant program is currently worded.

Action Item #51 - Explore the chance for potential grant money to assist with the farm land effort. (re: Cornell / Tompkins County) Valeria Coggin, Mark Twentyman, Dave Leichenauer

In an attempt to bring RPTAC up to date on Sales Audit Patterns, Dave Williams went through his presentation / slide show. (“An Audit of Sales Exclusions”, March, 2006.)

Dave recently did the slide show for the County Director’s Conference. He is continuously to work with assessors editing data or trying to get clean data.

The slide show is based on 10 calculations perform statewide on sales data. The idea of the audit is to take a closer look at flagged municipalities that show as outliers on multiple calculations. When this occurs, meetings are scheduled to determine cause.

Patrick Duffy read a letter from Sue McCarthy of East Greenbush regarding a meeting with John Petrino, an ORPS staff member, and a lack of advance meeting agenda notice. Patrick and other RPTAC members agreed that this creates an adversarial atmosphere. Dave agrees there’s room for improvement here. Timing needs improvement also.

Action Item #52 - Consider opening up the process of working with a Town that has been flagged through Sales Audits. Work to avoid an adversarial atmosphere with assessors. (Dave Williams)

Action Item #53 - Look into sharing the Sales Audit presentation with all assessors, possibly through the Pre-decisional Collaboration Process. (Dave Williams)

Todd walked RPTAC through a few samples of sales exclusions, demonstrating the process that’s in place. He went on to suggest he be given more time to adjust his sales. Todd provided a handout of live sales that were kicked out of the system. He outlined improvements that had been made to the property, that were not known at time of sale, which would have greatly impacted assessment. Examples: On page 15 the property sold in February 2004 for $145,000 and then resold for $242,000. Page 23 appears to be an uninformed buyer who overpaid for property that a local would have probable paid 25% less.

A comment was made that we need to look at properties differently, found sales, and physical differences.

Patrick asked if the Sales Audit Patterns presentation could be given to the assessor’s. Dave W. suggested it may be built into the Pre-decisional Collaboration Process.

It was then suggested that ORPS provide feedback to the assessor as to what sales will be kept in, thrown out or put back in. Dave W. agreed that ORPS could notify the assessor which sales they were putting back in. All agreed that the assessor needs to know the final outcome.

Guidelines are listed on the ORPS website for documentation of exclusions or code conditions.

Action Item #56 - Consider providing feedback to the assessor as to which sales were excluded and which were put back in, after ORPS has completed their review of exclusions. (Dave Williams)

JoAnn gave the following information regarding the new grant program.

82 applications were received from municipalities across the State.

24 applications requested funds to implement a web-based system that will provide taxpayers with parcel level information (A.1 requests)

41 applications requested funds to implement a multi-purpose web-based system that will provide taxpayers with parcel level information and will promote integration and use of parcel data among multiple level of government (A.2)

10 applications requested funds for conducting a real property tax administration feasibility/pilot study (B.1)

7 applications requested funds for implementing an innovated real property tax administration (B.2).

The aggregate grant amount requested was approximately $4.5 million. Applicants were notified by February 15th by mail.

In reviewing the grant applications, ORPS adhered to strict procurement rules established by the Office of the State Comptroller. For those who were denied this year, appointments will be taken to explain decisions. ORPS will compile a list of common problems and post on the web. We will be conducting follow-up sessions in various locations across the state to solicit grant feedback.

The Real Property Tax Administration Technology Improvement Grant Program 2006-07 Calendar:

April 2006 – Gather 2005-06 Feedback
May 2006 – Refund 2006-07 Grant Requirements
July 2006 – Release Request for Applications
October 2006 – Grant Applications Due
December 2006 – Send Pre-Award Notifications to Grant Applicants
February 2007 – Award Grant Contracts

Re: Investigate the possibility of a universal search tool to search all webboards at the same time.

Tom Rutnik and Paul Szwedo addressed the group for this issue.

Over time, ORPS has used various tools to capture content or facilitate communications with external groups. The scope of this action item was expanded to include the ORPS public website, the ORPS secure website, Webboards, Listserv and Knowledge databases.

ORPS Public Website - In November ORPS added Google search capabilities to Our Public web-site, greatly improving the search capabilities.

ORPS Secure Website – houses links to applications, webboards and knowledge bases. The E-Star board contains static reference information that can be moved to a standard web page. The knowledge sharing board is not being used and we suggest it be dropped.

Other Webboards - Web-boards usage has dropped over time. The RPS webboard only gets a couple of hits. RPTAC gets a flurry of activity as a meeting is approaching.

There is a support cost and administrative time involved in maintaining these boards, and based on that usage pattern, ORPS is seriously considering phasing them out. But, OPRS will look into keeping the ability to have threaded discussion forums.

Knowledge Bases - ORPS is investigating the best method to make the knowledge databases available from the ORPS public website.

ListServs - are a communication tool (list of e-mail addresses) for a set group. The information exchanged via listserv is very useful to list subscribers. But, the information is susceptible to being out dated or inaccurately taken out of context. Members of Listserv lists have the ability to search archives. All groups agreed that Listserv’s would not be included in any search strategies and would continue in use as is.

ORPS intends to work towards a solution that makes our information from various repositories accessible from a universal search tool where it makes sense. This could result in consolidation and/or elimination of some existing information repositories.

Tom and Paul agreed to provide updates to RPTAC on their activity as things progress.

Action Item #57 - During the internet discussion Curt S. spoke of difficulties he sometimes has when downloading the two-page STAR form. Curt will summarize his concerns in a follow-up e-mail. Dave L. will forward Curt’s concerns to the STAR Unit.

Wrap-Up:
The Hampton Inn chain does not accept vouchers for payment. The billing desk of the Hampton Inn said that a direct-bill process can be established for individuals once a form is completed and a credit card given to the Hampton. This process takes approximately two weeks and can be used for future meetings. Unfortunately, it cannot be used for this meeting. A consensus was that all individuals were happy with the Hampton Inn regarding meeting space and comfortable rooms.

Re-Visited B. Cell Towers (from Day 1)
Rich Sinnott suggested that the discussion yesterday, concerning the cell tower being located on property owned by another (namely, a not-for-profit corporation [ NFPC]), needed to be clarified. The issue that Jim and Steve had discussed with an assessor concerned the taxable status of the real property owned by the NFPC, and their conclusion of law in respect thereto, which was correct, had nothing to do with the taxable status of the cell tower itself. The cell tower, owned by the utility, remains taxable, notwithstanding section 420-a, because the cell tower is not owned by the NFPC (remember that one of the requirements for exemption under section 420-a is that the real property be owned by the otherwise-eligible corporation or organization), and therefore is not entitled to the benefit of the 420-a exemption. The fact that its location on real property owned by the NFPC does not "defeat" the exemption available to that underlying real property does not mean that the cell tower itself is also exempt. Rather, as real property [see, decision of Justice Thomas Dickerson in Nextel of New York, Inc. v. Assessor for the Village of Spring Valley, 4 Misc.3d 233, 771 NYS2d 853 (2004); see also, Voicestream Wireless Corp. v. Assessor of City of Troy, 2 Misc.3d 723, 771 NYS2d 335 (2003) ] not entitled to any exemption in its own right, the value of the cell tower should be treated as taxable, whether separately assessed on the roll [not recommended by anyone in the room], or included with the value of the underlying real property of the NFPC, as per section 502.5 of the RPTL: "If a parcel of real property is partially exempt, it shall be entered with the taxable property, with the amount of the exemption shown in a separate column."

Next RPTAC Meeting: June 14th, EnCon Building, Broadway, Albany NY

Updated: