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EQUALIZATION PROJECT TEAM

MINUTES
Wednesday, September 7, 2005

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

 Attending:

Assessors:  Edye McCarthy, Roger Tibbetts, Todd Wiley, Curt Schoeberl

County Directors:   Paul Burckard, Bob Diener

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

 Tim made sure the team was aware of the following program and award:

New Technology Grant Program to Improve Property Tax Administration and, the award to recognize special achievement in collaboration among individuals and groups in improving the real property tax/assessment administration system.

Rules & Legislation Update:

Jim discussed ORPS program bills that have past both houses of the legislature.  They are:

1)      New York City  legislation

2)      Flood Relief 

Membership:

 After several years of dedicated service Barry Miller, Essex County Real Property Tax Director will no longer be a member of the team. New members are: County Directors: John Noto, Rockland County and Richard Dean, Wyoming County, who will be welcomed at the next meeting.

2005 Rates Status and Issues:

Pat reported that final 2005 State equalization rates have been established for 963 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.  Equalization rates for the cities and towns in Westchester County were made on August 12, 2005. 

Action item: to provide statistics on why the equalization rate was not the LOA.  Bob Gawrelski will be contacted to see what is available. Identify reasons why ORPS was not in agreement with 18% of the municipalities.

The consistency of knowledge and skills of the CRMs is still an issue.  ORPS needs the ability to response to local needs.  Locals need to be able to go to Regional Mangers and Directors. RSCD survey, does it cover CRM relationship, is there an evaluation form?  Jeff Green is working on something.

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

The guidelines were accepted. Tom Pinto did a great job.  Tim and Curt are doing a presentation for the Fall Assessor's Association Conference.  Tom Pinto handed out an example of a PDC monthly status report that will be emailed once a month to the team members with a summary.  A suggestion was made to add a column that indicates when the data was shared with the locals and a sign off date.

 Irregularities in residential sales exclusions:

Tim distributed a handed out of the Analysis of Sales Included and Excluded for RAR (July1, 2003 – June 30, 2004 sale period).  The handout showed a comparison of the median ratio of included sales to the median ratio of the excluded sales, along with the percent of low ratio sales that were excluded subsequent to the original filing.  This analysis with be expanded and explored further.  More training and education is needed for assessors to understand the significant change criteria.  What is required/appropriate documentation for excluding sales?  An understanding of the different procedures and uses of the sales ratio products (RAR and sales ratio study for equalization purposes) is needed.  This process is still evolving. There will be more information at the next meeting.

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

Tim distributed a report on the percent of assessed value by property group within major type C for municipalities where more than 20% on the municipal assessed value is in major type C.  Questions about forest inventory and timbre value were raised.  It was suggested that Danny Lancor be invited to the next meeting to discuss how forest land is valued.  Awareness in property classification code changes (change in use) is an issue with this type of property.  Farmers leasing land is also a perceived issue.  What is the difference between upstate and downstate valuation.  

Guidelines for Aggregate Adjustment Factors needs language added that describes the income approach for major type B.  Income-based methods: renewed lease, long term lease, lease structure, what can the locals bring to the table.

Next meeting – Wednesday, November 16, 2005 in the ORPS Syracuse office from 10-3.  We will video-conference to the ORPS Newburgh office. Proposed agenda topics include:

-         Review the 2005 CAMA and sales ratio study results that were developed for every assessing unit

-         Status of 2006 PDC meetings and reaction to the PDC Guidelines

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

-         Plan for 2006 rates.

Updated: