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Department of Taxation and Finance

RPTAC Equalization Project Team

July, 12, 2006

10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.;
Syracuse and Newburgh Offices



Assessors:  Tom Frey, Edye McCarthy, Curt Schoeberl, Todd Wiley

County:  John Noto

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

Review Team Charter and future team direction:

The existing team charter was distributed.  The discussion centered on updating time frames and mentioning team accomplishments.  There does not seem to be a need for any major revisions to the charter.  There was discussion on preserving the original charter and members by referring to the Annual Report for updates and changes.  ORPS will update the team charter and send it out for comments. 

Rules and Legislation Update:       

            There was discussion on the STAR rebate program, particularly the assessor certification process for STAR “eligible” taxpayers.  It was clarified that STAR rebates will be based on the 2006-07 school levy.  The process of collecting the names and addresses for manufactured home and co-op owners with STAR exemptions was also discussed.  Curt mentioned a mobile home spreadsheet problem in RPSv4.  There are still many unanswered questions and confusion – like what happens if an assessor refuses to “certify” an eligible STAR recipient.  Tax and Finance is working on a frequently asked questions pamphlet. Tim will provide Tax and Finance with Tom Frey's name for input from assessors.

Other bills that have passed both houses, but were not signed include: Tuckahoe school district segment rate, SCAR, triennial aid, simplify classification of board of assessors, Milton reassessment, BAR member's grievances heard by another municipality's BAR, and Haverstraw STAR calculation. There are also 6 or 7 bills dealing with commercial equalization rates which have only passed one house 

Rules: There is a proposed RPS fee increase that the State Board will act on at their meeting on November 14, 2006.  Rules for Special Franchise and Ceiling Railroad are at the Governor's Office of Regulatory Reform. Draft rules for the training of appointed assessors goes to the July 27 Board meeting and then to GORR.  Emergency rules for NYC training will be re-adopted at the July 27 Board Meeting – the Assessor's Association plans on attending the 7/24 hearing in New York City.

Status of 2006 Equalization Rates:

960 of 996 2006 equalization rates have been established tentative.  Almost 88% of the tentative equalization rates received their stated LOA.  Eight rate complaints have been filed so far. 

Condo property classification codes  

Prior to the development of ownership codes, the agency told assessors to use a property classification code of 412 for condos.  However, since townhouse condos were not apartment buildings, the “C” ownership code was created for use with any property classification code.  In the 2006 equalization rate process 210C's are assigned to major type A and 411C's are assigned to major type B in the classification process.  The team discussed that Condo market trends may be different than other residential and rental market trends.  Should condos be part of major type A or major type B?  The team discussed the creation of a condo class.  To estimate the impact ORPS will look at the condo/co-op count by municipality using the 2005 assessment rolls. 

Use of sales in ratio studies

Currently in towns on the standard calendar, the same sales set is used for both RARs and equalization rates.  For RAR purposes, sales are matched to the latest final assessment roll available when determining if there is significant change.  A consideration for equalization rates is matching sales to a future assessment roll, thereby reducing the need to remove sales for significant changes. This would result in a different set of sales for RARs and eq. rates.  ORPS is open to the idea of matching sales used for equalization rates to a future assessment roll (rather than the latest as required for RARs)  The assessors want to further discuss the issue among themselves.  

  There was further discussion regarding the definition of significant change – that there must be a physical change of at least 10% of the total market value of the property.  To better understand the extent of ORPS including sales for ratio studies that have been identified by assessors with significant change, ORPS will provide the team with the following data for municipalities identified with patterns of sales corrections: the total number of sales and the number of sales with significant change. Municipal names will not be provided.  

Gloudemans Report on Market Trends

            The report is not ready, but will be shared with the team when it is available. 

Large Parcel

            There was discussion on how large parcels are assigned to class - assignment is based on the property classification code.  There was also discussion that the large parcel bill does not work because of politics.  The Town of Olive increased assessments on the NYC reservoir property and received a tentative equalization rate of 130%.  Action item: check the tolerances set for class D in order for a reassessment municipality to receive State Aid.

2007 Equalization Rates

            The following property classification breakdown to determine blended trends was distributed:

MT B Groups: Commercial

  1. Apartment: 411
  2. Lodging: 414,415,417 & 418
  3. Eating/Drinking: 420,421,422,423,424,425 &426
  4. Retail (large): 450,451,452,453,454 & 455
  5. Retail (small): 480,481,482,483,484,485 & 486
  6. Bank/Office: 460,461,462,463,464 & 465
  7. Warehouse: 440,441,442,443,444,445,446,447,448 & 449
  8. Car Sales/Service: 431,432 & 433
  9. General Commercial Use:  400,410,416,430,434,435,436,437,438,439,470,471,472,473,474,475,500's & 600's

MT C Groups: Vacant/Farm/Forest

  1. Farm Land: 100's
  2. Small Lots: 310,311,312 & 314
  3. Waterfront Lots: 313 & 316
  4. Commercial/Industrial Land: 330,331,340,341 & 350
  5. Large Tracts (General Vacant Use): 300,315,320,321,322 & 323
  6. Forest Land: 900,910,911,912,920,940,942,960,962,963,970,971 & 972

 If there is not enough data to make a sub-group trend, an overall major type trend will be  used for the market area. 

Other issues discussed:           

Possibly limit the trending of major type B to two years, instead of three, because of the difficulty of determining major type B trends         

            The fact that commercial sales are not verified is a problem.  The availability of commercial income data is an issue.  There are sources for this type of information.  There is potential use for this data to be used for analysis purposes. Eyde will contact the RPTAC Valuation team and set up a meeting to discuss other possible options for commercial trending. We may have a combined meeting of the Valuation and Equalization teams to discuss these issues.

Action Items

1.      Assessor's Association will meet with Tax and Finance regarding STAR rebate program

2.      Identify number of condos by municipality

3.      Count of total sales and sales with significant change indicated by municipality

4.      Tolerance for major type D in State aid process

5.      Major Type B and C - look at historical trends.  Should only 2 years of trends be used

6.      Discussion by assessors regarding the matching of sales to a future assessment roll, limiting the need for significant change exclusions for eq. rate purposes

7.      Report on the development of trends using sub-groups

8.      Bob Gloudemans report

9.      Valuation Team discussion on commercial trends

Next Meeting: October 25, 2006 videoconference between ORPS Syracuse and ORPS Newburgh offices.