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Department of Taxation and Finance


Thursday – April 10, 2008 (1:00pm – 5:00pm)
Friday –April 11, 2008 (8:30am– 11:30am)

Facilitator: Alan Kresge
Recorder: All

Day 1 – Thursday, April 10, 2008

Assessors: Tom Frey, Rick Hubner, Timothy Sheares, William Quick, Larry Quinn, Cathy Conklin, Peggy Jenkins (alt.), Curt Schoeberl (alt.)
County Directors: Dave Hastings, Kathleen Myers, Robin Johnson, Carol Holley, Mike Swan
ORPS: Steve King, Jim O'Keeffe, Dick Harris, Dave Williams, Tim Maher, Dennis Jersey (alt), Tom Bellard (alt.), Don Card (alt.) 

  1. Get Organized  
    • Minutes were reviewed and approved
    • Agenda was reviewed and necessary changes made
    • A suggestion was made to have presenters record the minutes for their topic. This suggestion was accepted.  
  2. Legislative / Budget Updates - Paul handed out 3 documents  
    • Bills that have passed both Houses – Three of the four chapters listed are amendments to 2007 chapters. The fourth involves the NYRA agreement. Senate 6807-c, a budget bill that had not yet been delivered, contains STAR changes that Joe Gerberg described
    • Bills that have passed one House – Paul directed attention to Senate 5302-c, the central valuation of utility mass property bill
    • ORPS 2008 Legislative Program – Joe described the four proposals that have been approved for introduction as departmentals   
  3. Lawsuit on state paying taxes  
    • Jim O'Keeffe gave a brief status report on Dillenburgh v. Pataki.   
  4. Sub-group activity

    Equalization Project Team

    • Last Meeting (April 2, 2008)
    • Discussed status of 2008 PDC and rates
    • Reviewed time trends for 2008 rates
    • Feedback from 2008 PDC training sessions
    • Calculation and distribution of CODs
    • Updated farm study
    • Next meeting June 25th, 2008

    Valuation Issues

    • Last Meeting January 31st, 2008
    • Cayuga County Agricultural Assessment Tool
    • Marshall and Swift Project
    • RPS Volume 6
    • Cornell Project
    • Team Charter
    • Next Meeting June 12th, 2008

    Sales Processing Team

    • last meeting March 26th, 2008
    • ORPS will reach out to County Clerks to attempt to engage them in discussion to automate the sales process
    • Meeting with Schoharie County to discuss improving sales process
    • Develop a long-term vision for sales processing
    • Determine immediate steps to reach long-term vision
    • Next Meeting not yet scheduled

    Public Education Issues

    • Geoff Gloak presented to RPTAC on behalf of the Public Education Subgroup. He provided the background of the Outreach Initiative and subsequent formation of the group. He let the group know that the subgroup was working on the following:
      • a newsletter template for assessors to use in their communities
      • an annual report template for assessors to inform their town boards/city councils of their work
      • handouts for assessors to provide information on taxes and taxing jurisdictions  
    • Geoff passed out copies of a presentation developed by the subgroup
      - "Property Taxes and Assessments: What you should know." He asked for comments from the group (either at the meeting or by email). The following comments were provided:
      • Having the presentation online with a live voiceover (maybe in video format) would be helpful for taxpayers
      • Information to help taxpayers understand tax bills is necessary
      • Having the "big picture" info upfront will lose taxpayers early - they need more specific info for them (i.e., grievance) early in the presentation
      • Information on the budgeting process and how to grieve/determine market value should be included
      • It's unnecessary to have a slide about the number of assessing units
      • Taxpayers need to understand the system, so the count of assessing units is appropriate
      • The term "levy" needs to be defined
      • Information about the assessment calendar (taxable status date, valuation date, etc.)  
    • There was also discussion about the reference to the cost of assessing being less than 2% of town budgets. Lee expressed concerns that the cost did not factor in county and state costs and suggested that that reference should be removed, or a source for the information being cited.
    • Geoff also asked if RPTAC felt the informational videos should be promoted again this year. Rick Hubner said that it should be suggested to towns that they provide links to the online videos. Mike Swan thought that a reminder to the assessment community about the availability of the videos would be appropriate.

    Property Class Code

    • have received 5 requests for new Property Class Codes which they are looking into
    • team charter is being modified  
  5. Middle Class STaR Rebate Program  
    • Tim discussed changes for 2008
    • 2008 enhanced STAR rebate checks will be 40% higher than 2007 rebates / basic STAR rebates will be the same as 2007
    • 2008 rebates for taxpayers will be offset by past-due support, defaulted student loans and debts owed to state agencies
    • Taxpayer who received a check last year will not have to reapply for a 2008 rebate unless there is a change of ownership or exemption type
    • Tim also discussed the process for 2008 and that assessors need to notify ORPS of the following changes between 2007-08 school levy and the 2008-09 levy
    • Parcels that did not receive an exemption in 2007 but did in 2008
    • Parcels that changed from basic to enhanced or enhanced to basic
    • Parcels that have owner or mailing address changes
    • Parcels that received a STAR exemption in 2007 but not in 2008
    • Changes need to be sent to ORPS by August 1st, 2008   
  6. Senior Citizen Exemption / Simplify Definition of Income  
  7. Grant Program  
    • Steve King presented an overview of the Centralized Property Tax Administration Program. Two CPTAP grants are available to almost every county in the state. $50,000 (made available in two payments) is available to study reforms to the system for assessing property. An additional $50,000 is available to study and implement a countywide database for property tax collection/enforcement (with $25,000 to conduct the study and an additional $25,000 to defray the cost of implementation). 43 counties are receiving grants to improve property tax administration.  

    Day 2 – Friday, April 11, 2008

    Assessors: Tom Frey, Rick Hubner, Timothy Sheares, William Quick, Larry Quinn, Cathy Conklin, Peggy Jenkins (alt.), Curt Schoeberl (alt.)
    County Directors: Dave Hastings, Robin Johnson, Kathleen Myers, Robin Johnson, Carol Holley, Mike Swan
    ORPS: Lee Kyriacou, Steve King, Jim O'Keeffe, Dick Harris, Dave Williams, Tim Maher, Dennis Jersey (alt), Tom Bellard (alt.), Don Card (alt.)  
  8. Report out from Executive Director  
    • Lundine Commission
      • Report out in April
      • Currently have draft report
      • Detached from budget
    • Commission on Property Tax Relief (Suozzi)
      • CPTR Executive Order #22, Jan. 2008
      • Can you cap school taxes w/o a decrease in education?
      • Cap levi not spending
    • Regulatory vs. Services
      • A little bit of both
      • Board meeting – enforcing rules
      • Mange in partnership
      • Weak on enforcement and audit
      • Board wants a greater role
      • What is our enforcement authority?
        • Rules
        • Inventory
        • Submission of date
    • Focus of Group
      • What is our role?
      • Manage system
      • Legislative road blocks
      • Can't pursue own legislation
      • What is the perfect system?
      • Representation Issue
    • System to attain 4 goals
      • Transparency
      • Equity
      • Efficiency
      • Quality    

2008 Meeting Schedule

  • June 26 & 27, September 18 & 19, No December meeting scheduled