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Department of Taxation and Finance


Wednesday October 17, 2001
10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.



Assessors: Barbara Bounds, Tom Frey, Roger Tibbetts, Val Martins

County Directors: Tom Bloodgood ,PaulBurckard, Rick Dean, Bob Diener

ORPS: Tim Maher, Jim O'Keeffe, Jo Ann Whalen; AM segment-Chuck Aviza, Bob Gawrelski, Jeff Green, Dick Harris, Rich Keil, Vince Smith, Dave Williams

GENERAL BUSINESS: 8/29/01 minutes approved for publication on the Web site.Norms and Consistency within ORPS: General discussion with attempt to identify issues and determine actions to be taken. Issues identified, examples and actions:

  • consistency among approaches-perception that ORPS is conservative in developing trends. Discussion around moving toward a pre-collaborative model in which all parties, ORPS/assessors/county directors evaluate and analyze data prior to valuation determinations with conclusions agreed to. Recognition that this process needs to build in a verification of the results-valuation conclusions.
  • consistency between regions-staff/skills not necessarily the same but need to be molded/developed for assessment activity, level of county involvement and needs within the region. Examples cited; of one assessor with assessing units in two different regions-one region states no state assistance for reassessment versus other which states shift away from state assistance and common trend areas across regions and how they are handled; systemic causes identified as staff skill levels in different regions-ability and demands, interpretation on the part of staff of changes, different levels of management intervention and recognition that ORPS staff need knowledge/experience to assist in building local capacity. Also identified a need for any communication outreach to be equal and consistent but reality that within a region approaches are determined by the different activity levels at the assessing unit level.
  • consistency within a region-different skill levels, experience and range of for staff -means/ways to spread knowledge/experience need identification.
  • level of support-practice is for regions to identify what work load they can deliver and inform assessment community-varies depending on skill levels/assessment practices within region; lack of V4 and changes identified as example and cause of some difficulties.Dave described the overall staffing numbers; target numbers with greatest staff shortages now in the central and southern regions; actions to fill items in light of fiscal restraints-use of professional careers list-advantage of many candidates but lack of specific skills; gains to be realized with institution of traineeship which will mandate job rotation within ORPS and local government experience.

Rich described the SAS organization and its delivery of utility values in support of reassessments and determination of aggregate full value for non-reassessment assessing units. Discussion around a valuation issue concerning the value added for the right of way with special franchise and not other poles and wires. Statute governs and valuations are in accordance with that.

Jeff Green reported about an effort he is leading to define a program to insure consistency and unbiased verification and validation of levels of assessment among all municipalities-reassessment and non-reassessment. This issue had been identified at the March 28th joint meeting of RPTAC and RPTAC equalization. Jeff had reported back to RPTAC and made this group aware of the process used and findings and recommendations determined. Regions will be identifying pilot areas for the 2002 rates and further implementation statewide. The main emphasis is around pre decisional collaboration among all the parties. This group will be kept informed of the progress and results.

Equalization Committee Annual Review/Recommendations: group met eight times between March and October this year. Jo Ann will draft report, circulate to this group by 10/31 with comments back by 11/15 for delivery to RPTAC at its December 12th meeting. Group identified activities to be included and achievements to be met.

2001 Rates Status: for school apportionment purposes, September 1, 2001 levy date, 943 out of 944 school districts needing final rates had them. The one assessing unit not final affected four school districts. For county purposes, generally a 1/1/02 levy date, all will have final rates except possibly Suffolk and Westchester but we are still trying. 47% of the assessing units were issued final rates equal to their stated LOA.

2002 Rates Status: Complaint Review Rules, 186-15, are still in GORR; procedures out for comment; rate complaint booklet in process of rewrite-anticipated that draft book out by 12/31 with section on guidelines for determining LOA. ORPS will draft and circulate to members for comment. Booklet will be distributed with tentative rate data and tables.

Presentation on methodology, procedures and status of assessing units made on 10/1 at the Assessors' Conference in Kerhonkson; 10/2 for the State Board in Kerhonkson and 10/10 at the Local Government Conference in Potsdam. Regional meetings are scheduled and assessment community urged to attend.

Tim identified an issue identified at the October state board meeting and referred back to this group- using different rates for exemption calculation on the tentative roll and for use in apportionment. Group had some discussion but decided to put topic on the next agenda with Tim providing some data with which to frame discussion.

SUMMARY: Next meeting-Wednesday March 6, 2002 from 10-3 Manlius Town Hall. Jo Ann will distribute proposed agenda and any appropriate materials prior to meeting.