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EQUALIZATION PROJECT TEAM

MINUTES
Tuesday, December 2, 2003
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Video-Conference Between ORPS Syracuse & Newburgh Offices

Attending:

Assessors:  Dave Briggs, Roger Tibbetts, Walter Smead

County Directors:  Tom Bloodgood, Paul Burckard

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

Other:  Tom Frey

Rules & Legislation Update:

Jim reported that the Governor's Office of Regulatory Reform is reviewing the proposed rule changes for assessor's reports.  Paul stated that he heard that there might be bills introduced in the Senate and Assembly that would modify the large parcel legislation (RPTL 1316) to exclude property owned by a municipal corporation (ex: New York City Board of Water property in Catskills). Tim reported that apportionment rates (RPTL 1316) were established for 28 school districts and that the Eldred School District was the only one that used the apportionment rate.  None of the counties opted to use the apportionment rate.

2003 Rates Status and Issues:

Pat reported that final 2003 State equalization rates were established prior to the date needed for tax apportionment purposes for every city and town. 

Procedures for 2004 Equalization Rates:

We briefly reviewed the draft procedures for 2004 equalization rates.  The procedures are similar to the 2003 equalization rate procedures.  The changes from the 2003 procedures include the following:

1)  The 2004 rate products for cities and towns will be based on a valuation date of January 1, 2004.  The 2004 State equalization rate will represent the ratio of assessed value on the 2004 assessment roll to the January 1, 2004 full value of these municipalities.

2)  The measured roll for a reassessment municipality will be the 2001, 2002, 2003 or 2004 reassessment; whichever is the most recent reassessment.

3)  The measured roll for a non-reassessment municipality will be the 2002 assessment roll.

4)  For measured rolls that are earlier than 2004, the aggregate full value for each major type will be adjusted to a January 1, 2004 aggregate full value.

5)  A residential full value will continue to be developed with a sales ratio study where there is a sufficient number of sales and with a computer assisted mass appraisal (CAMA) ratio study where there is sufficient inventory data.

6)  Where a sales ratio study or a CAMA ratio study is used for the residential class, the full value will be as of January 1, 2004 and the measured roll will be the 2003 assessment roll. 

7)  Where both a sales ratio study and  a CAMA ratio study have been conducted for the residential class in a municipality and neither study allows for the confirmation of the LOA, the equalization rate will be calculated using the ratio study that results in the rate that is closest to the LOA stated by the municipality.  In 2003 when the LOA was rejected the ratio from the sales ratio study was used to calculate the equalization rate.     

8)  We will conduct statistical tests to determine the confidence levels in the classes where we have conducted appraisals.  If the required confidence levels are not met then we will conduct additional appraisals in that class in that municipality.  

9)  If there is evidence that different groups of residential properties within a municipality are assessed at different market value ratios then the residential class may be stratified before estimating the market value of the residential class.   

Tim reported that the draft procedures will be placed on the ORPS website and distributed to assessors and county directors.  We expect the State Board to adopt these procedures at their meeting on March 16, 2004. 

Status of Pre-Decisional Collaboration (PDC) Meetings for 2004 Equalization Rates:

We started conducting PDC meetings in November.  This is much earlier than PDC meetings for 2003 equalization rates.  It was agreed that the earlier there are discussions between the ORPS Customer Relationship Managers (CRMs) and assessors the better.  Several assessors said that they think ORPS should provide the assessors with paper copies of the sales that are used in the sales ratio studies and the sales that are used in the CAMA ratio studies. 

Sales with Significant Inventory Changes:

There was a brief discussion on the subject of sales with significant inventory changes.  It was decided that we would discuss this topic at the next meeting.  At the next meeting we will review the sales correction process and discuss the definition of significant change.

Other Issues:

Dave Briggs suggested that we should examine the process we are using to estimate market values in small municipalities with limited data to determine if we could develop a more accurate methodology.  We decided that we would discuss this at our next meeting.

Next meeting – Wednesday, March 31, 2004 in the Syracuse office of ORPS from 10-3.  We will video-conference to the ORPS Newburgh office. Proposed agenda topics include:

-         Status of Pre-Decisional Meetings for 2004 equalization rates

-         Discuss how we can ensure the accuracy of equalization rates in small municipalities with limited data

-         Discuss sales with significant inventory changes 

Updated: