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EQUALIZATION PROJECT TEAM

MINUTES
Wednesday, November 16, 2005

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

Attending:

Assessors:  Dave Briggs, Tom Frey (pm), Edye McCarthy, Curt Schoeberl, Roger Tibbetts

County Directors:   Tom Bloodgood, Paul Burckard, Bob Diener, John Noto

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

Status of Issues Identified in Team's Annual Report:

Tim distributed the 2005 Issues from the 2004 Annual Report for review.

1.  Review the 2005 pre-decisional collaboration (PDC) process and develop a schedule for 2006 PDC.

2.  Monitor the status of PDC for 2006 rates.

3.  Review the process for developing 2005 equalization rate trends for the commercial and vacant classes.

     Analyze and evaluate alternatives for developing trends.  Recommend improvements for developing trends

     for 2006 equalization rates.  Monitor the implementation of these improved techniques for developing trends

     for 2006 equalization rates.  

4.  Review the criteria for determining property classes where ORPS conducts appraisals in the

     market value survey.  Make changes for 2006 equalization rates if appropriate.

5.  Review the criteria for conducting redo appraisals in the market value survey.  Make changes

     for 2006 equalization rates if appropriate.  

6.  Evaluate the experiences of 2005 rates and make recommendations for future rate years.

7.  Review the 2005 rate complaint process and make recommendations for future rate years.

8.  Develop proposed procedures for 2006 State equalization rates.

9.  Push for ORPS to study the expansion of CAMA modeling techniques to the commercial and/or vacant

      property classes.  The team is concerned with the lack of progress in this area.

10.  Ensure that 2005 reassessments are appropriately confirmed at 100 percent.  

11.  Monitor the status of legislative changes that impact equalization rates.

12.  Improve communications with the RPTAC Valuation Team regarding valuation issues that impact the

       establishment of accurate equalization rates.

The following item numbers had little discussion because they are completed or are in the process of being completed: 1,2,4,5,6,7,8,and 11.

Item 3 the  process for developing 2005 equalization rate trends for the commercial and vacant classes has been reviewed.  The Ulster County project process is one approach, but still need to look for alternative options.  One possibility is specific commercial property classification code analysis. For 2006 equalization rates the guidelines need to be reviewed and discussed. The following documents can be found on ORPS' website: (select "Valuing and Assessing Real Property", then "Assessor Resources"; see "Pre-Decisional Collaboration")

  • ORPS' market analysis process
    • Current Guidelines for Determining Aggregate Market Adjustment Factors for Equalization Rates
  • Using systematic analysis to determine Level of Assessment and maintain uniformity:
    • Trending Commercial Property (Income Approach) 

Item 9 the study of the expansion of CAMA modeling techniques to the commercial and/or vacant property classes.  There is a need to follow up with the market analyst to get a progress report.

Item 10 a status of the 2005 reassessments will be discussed at today's meeting.

Item 12 to improve communications with the RPTAC Valuation Team regarding valuation issues still needs to be addressed.

Action Items: Item 9 RPS handling of multiple parcel sales as comparables will be discussed  by the Change Control Board in December.  New action item: request that someone from the Region be at the next meeting to give step by step descriptions of how trends are determined using sales and income.

Rules & Legislation Update:

Jim reminded us that the ORPS' website: has the status of program bills  (select “Legal Topics”, then “Real Property Tax Legislation”, then either “Current Status Chart” or “Legislative Summaries”)

Chapter 743 modifies the procedure for equalizing assessments of special franchise property.

There are still proposals alive that limit the change in the equalization rate and which rates should be used in certiorari cases.  The rules for training and certification of NYC assessors have been sent to GORR(Governors Official of Regulatory Reform).

2005 Rates Status and Issues:

Pat reported that final 2005 State equalization rates have been established for all but two cities (Glen Cove and Sherrill).  Two handouts were distributed, one listed the 2005 reassessments where major type A was verified at 100 using information other than the sales ratio or CAMA ratio studies. The other handout showed the count of municipalities where the equalization rate was the LOA by reassessment and non-reassessment year. 

Status of 2006 Pre-decisional Collaboration (PDC):

Tom Pinto distributed a detailed status and a statewide status as of 11/10/2005.  The process appears to be going better.   More discussion will take place in January.  CRMs update the status manually.

Irregularities in residential sales exclusions:

Tom distributed a hand out of the “tests” that were used in the analysis of sales exclusions. An example was handed out of the comparison report of the tolerance conditions.  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.  Approximately 30-40 municipalities were identified.   This is a work in progress; municipalities have been contacted and now must respond back to ORPS.   CRMs monitor sales and condition codes year round.

Forest Valuation:

Paul Capone of the ORPS Saranac Lake office Forest Appraisal unit discussed the components of the valuation of forest property.  Paul had two handouts; one was a map of the eight market areas for bare-land valuation for the 2006 survey year and another map that showed the seven forest regions.  Some of the inventory items mentioned were; forest region, stumpage price, type or species, ability to grow(quality),  volume, accessibility(all weather road), ease of logging. Sales are grouped by size(acres)- 50-99, 100-300, >300.  The time of year the aerial photographs are taken is important.  The group feels that updating the timber inventory is a priority.  The technology available and the start up/maintenance costs are issues that need to be discussed.

Vacant/forest Time Trends:

Before exploring the development of alternative methods for developing vacant/farm trend an explanation of the current method is needed.

Valuation Issues:

One idea was to have MIAs participate in a discussion at one of our meetings.

2005 Annual Report:

Needs to be drafted and sent to members before the RPTAC meeting December 8 and 9, 2005

Next meeting – Wednesday, January 11, 2006  in the ORPS Syracuse office from 10-3.  We will video-conference to the ORPS Newburgh office. Proposed agenda topics include:

-         Status of 2006 PDC meetings

-         Identify steps to improve the trending process for commercial  properties

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

-         Plan for 2006 rates

-         Status of sale review- irregularities in residential sales exclusions

Updated: