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Department of Taxation and Finance

EQUALIZATION PROJECT TEAM

MINUTES
Wednesday, June 15, 2005
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.;
Video-Conference Between ORPS Syracuse & Newburgh Offices

  Attending:

 Assessors:  Dave Briggs, Tom Frey, Walter Smead, Roger Tibbetts, Todd Wiley

 County Directors:  Tom Bloodgood, Paul Burckard, Bob Diener

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

 Sales of Multiple Parcels:

The current RPSv4 valuation system does not allow for use of multiple parcel sales as comparable sales.  This is a problem in farm communities because many farm sales include multiple parcels.  The team is concerned that the failure to use multiple parcel sales could result in inaccurate market values and possibly inaccurate equalization rates.  Last year the RPTAC Equalization Team requested that RPSv4 be modified to allow for the use of multiple parcel sales as comparable sales. 

The RPS Change Control Board (consisting of local officials and ORPS staff) is responsible for prioritizing the requests for changes to RPSv4 and identifying the changes that can be made given current resources.  Last year the RPS Change Control Board did not identify this request as one that will be filled with the December 2005 release of RPSv4.  It was decided that Tim will contact the RPS Team, determine the status of this request and reiterate that the RPTAC Equalization Team thinks this is a high priority issue.

 Rules & Legislation Update:

Jim reported that two sets of rules were adopted by the State Board 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. 

Jim discussed four ORPS program bills that have past both houses of 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).

2005 Rates Status and Issues:

Pat reported that tentative 2005 State equalization rates have been established for 950 cities and towns.  The equalization rate is the same as the Level of Assessment (LOA) declared by the assessor for 82 percent of these municipalities.  She said that ORPS is on schedule to establish final rates for all municipalities before the first levy of taxes.  We expect to have the vast majority of rates final by August 1. 

Guidelines for 2006 Pre-decisional Collaboration (PDC) Process:

The team discussed the draft guidelines and made several suggestions.  It was decided that some of the issues would be addressed by linking the guidelines to other documents.  The following suggestions were made at the meeting: 

1.      Some assessors need a better understanding of the CAMA part of market analysis.  Consider providing more explanation of CAMA.

2.      Address the sales trending portion of CAMA models since this has a major impact on the results. 

3.      Discuss the ramifications of observing large differences between CAMA and Sales ratios, and possible outcomes/responses to the situation.

4.      Explain that the PDC process works best when the CRM is involved in the market analysis process rather than just reporting the results. 

5.      Include an explanation of locational adjustments to the model. 

6.      Refer to the LOA course as a means of gaining a better understanding of the market analysis process.

7.      Discuss what might be acceptable in terms of developing trends for commercials (Major Type B) to provide to ORPS when a market area has limited sales or income data

The team was asked to review the draft guidelines and provide any additional comments to Tom Pinto by June 29.  The goal is to finalize the guidelines in August and distribute to the assessment community in September.

Curt and Tim are scheduled to make a presentation on the PDC process at the NYSAA conference in September.

Commercial Value Estimates and Time Trends:

There was a discussion of the Ulster and Orange County projects to analyze the commercial market place.  The common theme in the two projects was the significant work by the assessors to collect and analyze commercial market data.  It was discussed that it will require assessor involvement to expand this approach to other counties in the State. 

Curt and Jeff Jordan are scheduled to make a presentation on the Ulster County project and determining commercial time trends at the NYSAA conference in September.  A portion of their presentation is devoted to discussing the types of data that is needed to develop commercial trends based on income data.

Development of Alternative Methods for Developing Vacant/Farm Time Trends:

There was a brief description of this issue.  ORPS includes properties with property class codes of 100s(farms), 300s(vacant) and 900s(forest) in major type C.  It was discussed that the market values of these three property groups may not change at the same rate and thus developing one time trend for these different property types in a market area may not be appropriate.  ORPS will gather data on the percent of assessed value in major type C by municipality and the percent of major type C by property class code by municipality.  We will discuss this data at our next team meeting.

Next meeting – Wednesday, September 7, 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

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

-         Plan for 2006 rates. 

 

Updated: