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Annual Adirondack Counties Assessors' Conference – June 23, 2011
On Thursday, June 23rd, AdkAction.org, Inc. hosted the annual conference for the Adirondack Counties Assessors' Association (ACAA). We organized the logistics of the conference, but the material was presented by Dave Briggs, an IAO qualified instructor, for the benefit of the assessors in attendance. Dave's extensive knowledge and excellent facilitation made for a very successful conference. To underscore the quality of the session, ORPS approved 6 continuing education credits for all certified assessors who attended.
One of the high priority issues for our members is fair and consistent property assessments for all residents, both local and seasonal. Property assessments are based on the property data that is collected by the assessor for each parcel. The conference's theme of property data collection conformity was aimed at providing the North Country Assessors with a uniform methodology for collecting parcel data. This is a fundamental requirement to ensure that properties are assessed in a consistent manner in our sparsely populated and unique area.
Dave reviewed existing data collection methodologies and worked with the assessors to try to determine when a standardized data collection methodology could be implemented throughout the Adirondack region. He covered vacant land, residential, commercial, and industrial data collection techniques.
The feedback from the assessors was overwhelmingly positive, with 97% of the attendees, who filled out a course evaluation, agreeing or strongly agreeing that the conference met or exceeded their expectations. Two examples of the positive feedback were:
- "Thanks for putting on a helpful conference. This will get me on the road to more consistency, especially in assessing seasonal cottages."
- "Thank you.....the conference was excellent.....I think it was truly successful and I thank AdkAction."
This year the conference was held at the Wild Center in Tupper Lake. It turned out to be an excellent location with ideal facilities for the audience of just over 40 assessors that attended the day-long session; and the very helpful and professional staff helped ensure that the conference ran smoothly. A number of the assessors made a point of saying how impressed they were by their first visit to the Museum and that they were planning to return with their families.
In his opening remarks, Dave Briggs told the assessors that AdkAction.org, Inc. really needed to be recognized for its diligence in looking into and understanding the assessment function, doing the research to know what problems confront assessors, and then actually taking some steps and actions to try to do something about it to make the system better. "Highly unusual, but very refreshing."
Annual Adirondack Counties Assessors' Conference – June 24, 2010
The goal of the 2010 Adirondack Counties Assessors' Conference was to provide a forum for the assessors to discuss the challenges of ensuring the equitable valuation of all property in the North Country, both public and private. Those challenges include issues such as immense tracts of state land, few comparable sales, and waterfront valuation methodologies which vary from town to town. At the end of the day, the participants agreed that the conference met or exceeded their expectations.
The conference featured five speakers in the morning, followed by breakout sessions in the afternoon to address each of the five issues presented in the morning:
|Comparable Sales||Paul Maniacek, Assessor for the Towns of Horicon|
|Valuation Models||Dave Briggs, Assessor for the Towns of Cortlandville, Homer, Taylor, Virgil, and Willett|
|Waterfront Valuation||Doug Tichenor, Assessor for the Towns of Brighton, Franklin, Harrietstown, and Santa Clara|
Curt Schoeberl, Assessor for the Town of Shawangunk
|Property Owner Understanding||Sue Otis, Assessor for the Town of Malta|
By mid-afternoon, the leaders from each breakout group had related the consensus of their respective groups to the rest of the room. Dave Briggs closed the conference by encouraging the audience to think regionally and to continue to share ideas: "Think about, on a larger level, some reforms that would ultimately make our job easier."
State Land Valuation Conference – August 22, 2008
A conference focused on the State's reimbursement for its lands in the Adirondack Forest Preserve was held in Saranac Lake on August 22, 2008. This topic is of great interest to the towns in the Park, as many are characterized by having a majority of their land owned by the State.
The Conference was attended by over 120 representatives of local municipalities, including assessors, town supervisors, county officials, and representatives of advocacy groups. A summary of the conference, attendees, presentations, backup materials, and conclusions are linked below: