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Board of Assessment Review Training Session Presented by: Dutchess County Real Property Tax Service Agency.

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Presentation on theme: "Board of Assessment Review Training Session Presented by: Dutchess County Real Property Tax Service Agency."— Presentation transcript:

1 Board of Assessment Review Training Session Presented by: Dutchess County Real Property Tax Service Agency

2 22 Market Street Poughkeepsie, NY 12601 Eric Axelsen, Director Phone (845) 486-2140 Website

3 Authority on Training and Certification NYS Dept. of Taxation & Finance Office of Real Property Services (ORPTS) WA Harriman State Campus Albany, NY 12227 Colleen Sheehan, Educational Services Phone (518) 474-1764 E-mail ORPS website

4 Unit 1 Introduction and Equity in Assessment Administration Lesson 1 – Reasons for Training and Course Overview Reasons for Training Real Property Tax Law requires initial appointees and re- appointees must attend training session given by County Director

5 Course Overview 1. Equity in assessment administration 2. Board of Assessment Review profile 3. Grievance Day preparation 4. Powers and duties of the BAR 5. Assessment of Real Property 6. Holding grievance hearings 7. Grounds for complaint 8. Determinations of BAR 9. Second Meeting(s) of BAR and subsequent complaint routes 10. Video

6 The Real Property Tax Ad Valorem Tax – based on ‘value’ Value is defined as ‘market Value’ Tax is determined by municipal budgets Equitable assessments fairly distribute the property tax Property owners can only grieve their assessments, not their tax amount

7 New York statutes set forth the procedure to be followed by property owners who have a complaint about their assessment Filing a petition with the Board of Assessment Review is a required (very important) first step Small Claims Assessment Review (hearing officer) Tax Certiorari (Court Proceeding)

8 Lesson 2 - Role of the Assessor Primary responsibilities of the assessor Discover, list, and place a value on all real property Establish market value as of July 1 of prior year (valuation date) Assess according to ‘condition and ownership’ as of March 1 (taxable status date) Determine exemption eligibility

9 Role of the Assessor in relation to the Board of Assessment Review Assessor files a tentative assessment roll by May 1 Assessor publishes notice of filing which includes dates and times that the Board of Review will meet Must attend all hearings Can request an adjournment

10 Lesson 3 – Role of the Board of Assessment Review 1. Quasi-judicial body – charged with the judicial responsibility to get the facts, apply the law 2. Each member should a) possess judicial temperament b) provide a fair hearing c) safeguard constitutional guarantees of due process of law d) abstain if personally involved

11 Unit 2 - Board of Assessment Review Profile Lesson 1 - Profile Composition – BAR consists of not less than three nor more than five members Majority can not be officers or employees of local government 5 year term – staggered Oct 1 – Sept 30 Temporary members can be appointed for 1 year to create hearing panels

12 Qualifications Knowledge of property values 18 yrs old U.S. Citizen Resident of the Town Must file an oath of office

13 Hearing Panels RPTL 523-a allows temporary members to be appointed in any year (usually in re-val year) 1 year terms Maximum of 2 temporary members for each regular member Must meet same qualifications, same training Same powers as BAR, EXCEPT will NOT determine final value Temps make recommendations to BAR Temps can not fill in for absent permanent BAR members

14 Lack of quorum Must have two of a three member board present or three of a four or five member board present If not – County treasurer Chairman of the legislature Clerk of the legislature shall serve as acting Board of Assessment Review New hearing date scheduled around 3 rd week in June (RPTL 527)

15 Lesson 2 – Training and Certification RPTL 523 (d) Mandates initial appointees and re-appointees attend this training Extensions can only be granted by request of NYS ORPS Educational Services

16 Unit 3 - Grievance Day Preparation Lesson 1 – Grievance day preparation by the BAR Grievance day is 4th Tuesday in May If assessor in more than one town a Local Law can be adopted to change that date, but no later than 2 nd Tuesday in June OR assessor can appoint one or more members of staff to fill in Board members must have training certification Must select a chairperson Chairperson’s role is to facilitate the meeting, keep order, administer oaths

17 Informational Meeting with assessor Get generally acquainted with tentative assessment roll Assessor’s techniques and methods for valuation Fact sheet – LOA, RAR, Equalization Rate, Trends Most important in reassessment and sustaining equity municipalities

18 Local “Fact Sheet” Veteran’s Exemption Ceiling values. Senior’s income limits for County, Town, Village, and all Schools in your town. Homestead for Town or School(s)? Other Local Options.

19 Unit 4 Powers and Duties of the Board of Assessment Review Lesson 1 1. Administer oaths 2. Take Testimony 3. Hear proofs 4. Require personal appearances 5. Require more information 6. Determine the final assessment/exemption status Evidence should accompany the complaint filed Complainant can offer additional documentation at the hearing All oral and written testimony is taken under oath Each person testifying is sworn in individually

20 Hearing testimony and taking proof Personal appearances not necessary Board may require a personal appearance Complainant not entitled to any reduction if willful neglect or refusal to supply requested information (dismissal) (RPTL 525 (2)) Minutes Minutes of the proceedings must be taken and filed with the town clerk Disclosure of interest (RP523-dcl) BAR Member must file if he has any interest in a property coming before the board and should abstain from the discussion (recusal). Agreements between municipalities can allow board member’s grievance to be heard in the other municipality (RPTL 523 (3))

21 Unit 5 Assessment of Real Property Lesson 1 – Assessment of Real Property Standard of Assessment RPTL 300 – All real property is subject to taxation unless specifically exempted by statute RPTL 302 – Real property must be assessed according to its condition and ownership as of taxable status date (March 1) RPTL 305 – The standard of assessment in NYS is that all real property in each assessing unit be assessed at a uniform percentage of value

22 What is value? Value has been defined by the courts to mean ‘Market Value’ Assessor must assess property at its ‘value in current use’ not highest and best or future potential use (farms, residence in commercial zone, etc.) Exception is vacant land parcels not being put to any particular use can be assessed at highest and best use

23 Level of Assessment Level of Assessment (a/k/a Uniform Percent of Value) tells us what percent of market value is being used that year to determine assessments. It is stated by the assessor – must appear on roll and bill.

24 For example– If level of assessment is stated as 75%, a property with an estimated market value of $300,000 should be assessed at approximately $225,000 $225,000 /.75 = $300,000 $300,000 x.75 = $225,000 If level of assessment is stated as 33%, a property with an estimated market value of $300,000 should be assessed at approximately $99,000 $99,000 /.33 = $300,000 $300,000 x.33 = $99,000

25 Reassessments are usually at 100% of market value – the assessment and the market value would be the same. Sustaining Equity – Annual reassessments maintain that level of 100% - assessments are reviewed annually and changes are made accordingly Important to remember that ad valorem is a tax based on value – not ability to pay or any other personal issue

26 3 approaches to value Market Value approach – for property types readily bought and sold Income approach – used for rental properties Cost approach – specialty property, utilities Assessor is responsible for collecting the data and applying the most appropriate method

27 Annual re-assessment Systematic review of all locally assessed property in the municipality Systematic analysis is a methodical, thorough and regular review and examination of assessments CAMA – Computer Assisted Mass Appraisal Assessments to Sale Price ratios are used to determine trends Different areas or neighborhoods can have different trends These trends are applied to assessments to maintain those assessments at 100% of value

28 Unit 6 Grievance Hearings Lesson 1 – Holding Grievance Hearings Grievance hearings must be in compliance with the open meetings law (accessible, open to public) BAR must meet to make final determinations (executive session, closed)

29 Lesson 2 – Fair hearings Keeping an open mind All persons involved have a full opportunity to make statements, present testimony and produce evidence Basic objective is to review the facts presented to you so that a fair decision can be made

30 Complaint requirements RPTL 524 (3) requires complainants to file a written complaint on a prescribed form (RP 524) Complainant must specify the full market value of the property and the requested amount of the reduced assessment Complaint may be filed with the assessor prior to grievance day or with the Board on grievance day Adjourned hearing dates 1. Assessor requests 2. Further documentation required 3. Too many to hear (No new complaints can be filed at an adjourned hearing)

31 Unit 7 Grounds for Complaint Lesson 1- Complaint form – RP524 Must be completely filled out so that parcel can be identified and to give the board a clear understanding of what is being requested Examples – exemption not properly granted assessed value too high misclassification in homestead status

32 Lesson 2 – grounds for complaint Unequal – assessed at a higher percentage of value than other property on the assessment roll Excessive – assessed greater than market value; denial of partial exemption Unlawful – Property outside of assessing unit; property can not be identified; assessed by person without authority; special franchise exceeds value set by State Board Misclassification – Only applies to jurisdictions that have adopted the homestead provisions of Article 19 RPTL

33 Unit 8 Determinations of the Board of Assessment Review Lesson 1 - Determinations Making determinations After hearing all testimony, decisions must be made Must meet in private – not an open meeting-no minutes taken; assessor, public officials (with the exception of BAR legal counsel) NOT allowed to be present Can lower assessment or leave unchanged Burden of Proof Presumption under the law is that the assessor is correct Burden of proof is on the property owner who Must present clear and convincing evidence - comparables, sales listings, appraisal - for your review

34 Assessor’s role in determinations Give testimony in defense of an assessment Recommend a reduction in assessment Stipulate an assessed value BAR is expected to ratify stipulations if they do not, charges can be brought against BAR and court will decide if BAR’s refusal was justified Weighing the evidence BAR should not re-appraise the property BAR must decide if complainant has supported his complaint with evidence beyond that of the assessor

35 Final determination After the board has met and made its determinations all changes must be listed, verified and delivered to the assessor so that the tentative roll can be changed The vote of each member must be recorded Complainant must be notified of the decision, the reason for the decision and how each member voted

36 Unit 9 Second Meeting Why a second (and third) meeting? To review assessment changes pursuant to ‘corrections of errors’ RPTL 553 Assessor submits petitions to the board Board must meet to approve petitions When? One meeting set between July 15 and August 10 (after final roll but before school bills are processed) Another between October 1 and November 1 (after school bills but before county/town bills are processed)

37 Lesson 2 - Subsequent complaint routes Two judicial remedies Small Claims Assessment Review 1,2,3 family residence, owner occupied certain vacant land only Tax Certiorari – court proceeding All property eligible These remedies are subsequent to the administrative review – not instead of

38 Unit 10 Summary and Review Basic premise for your determination Assessment challenged/not taxes Has the property owner supplied sufficient and convincing evidence to prove the assessment is incorrect? Yes? Make appropriate reduction No? Assessment remains unchanged

39 Check out integrated tax maps, aerial photos and current assessment information on ParcelAccess at This presentation is on the web – go to RPT page Visit for more information on Real Property Tax and Assessment information Any Questions? Newly appointed must stay for video Re-appointed – video optional Don’t forget your copy of certification Don’t forget to file your Oath of Office

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