Cumberland assessment called 'accurate'

Full story: Evening Sun 9
That's the conclusion of an independent evaluator who examined the work done in a neighboring county by the company conducting Adams County's reassessment of property values. Full Story
Moose

Gettysburg, PA

#1 Oct 22, 2010
This result is not unexpected. A new friend of mine attended both sessions in Cumberland County and this is what he says...

As expected the “Independent study” by Alan Dornfest/IAAO of Idaho merely looked at the results, NOT THE PROCESS USED BY 21st Century, accordingly his conclusions were to endorse the findings. This is an important distinction as Dornfest was unable to state that he could not evaluate the input numbers or even describe the modeling techniques used. Of course since 21st Century are IAAO members and since they subscribe to their techniques it was no surprise to all that Dornfest’s report was that in his opinion 21st Century’s results conformed to “commonly accepted industry standards”. The afternoon session was a packed courtroom. Dornfest was put on the ropes a number of times and could not respond since he did no in depth analysis. He and the assessors used a lot of terms like “it’s an art, not a science” and a 10-20% error or deviation off of a mean average was the best they could expect. 100% and higher deviation was probably contained in 1-5% of the county wide appraisals. With numbers like that the people in the audience moaned and the commissioners looked a little queasy. Of course the assessors immediately piped up that that was what “Appeals are for”. The 7 PM meeting at the High School was a total disappointment with sparse turnout. The county tax assessors used a lot of time “vindicating” themselves with Dornfests account. None the less, the commissioners got an earful from the afternoon crowd and even the few who spoke tonight to which I’m convinced we have 1 commissioner ready to vote down the reassessment and 1 wavering. Our vested interest tax assessors are putting a full court press on pushing the commissioners to vote to approve as they believe the crap work will stick to them if it is not approved and they’ll lose face like some Mandarin poobah.
The fight goes on!
Moose

Gettysburg, PA

#2 Oct 22, 2010
Sorry for the weird characters. Copy and pasting does that.
Moose

Gettysburg, PA

#3 Oct 22, 2010
oh, and forgot my cheap plug....

http://spreadthemustard.com/
local

Gettysburg, PA

#4 Oct 22, 2010
Wow 8 or 9 percent, how the 100, 200, & 300 percent numbers we are seeing in Adams...
taxedenuftoo

Mechanicsburg, PA

#5 Oct 22, 2010
I attended the meeting at Carlisle High School. Moose is correct, the review was not of the fairness or accuracy of the reassessed values, instead it was a mathematical review of the results to determine if the results are consistent across the county. The problem is that the "expert" and the County officials confirmed that the limited sales data that was available came from sales between 2004 and 2009. Because of the collapse of the real estate market in 2007, the sales data was necessarily front loaded and reflected the sales prices at the height of the real estate bubble. Statistical comparisons of changes in the 2004 assessed value with sales price revealed a 34% increase, yet the increase in the properties with sales data was a whopping 44%. If the numbers used to generate the new assessment were consistently high then the statistical review of consistency will show a "valid" consistent output. This does nothing to address the underlying question of the accuracy of the data used to generate the reassessed values. In other words-- garbage in, garbage out.
taxedenuftoo

Mechanicsburg, PA

#6 Oct 22, 2010
One correction-- the 44% increase was for properties without sales data. How can this number reflect fair market value?
Tim Hartlaub Adams County

Shippensburg, PA

#7 Oct 22, 2010
I have called to the IAAO Headquarters to see it 21st Century was even a member to date. They have informed me that if they were a member, their name would be in the system as such, but could not find anyone with the Barr name or 21st Century. Just another interesting fact when you make the calls and do some back ground checking. I'll call out agian to check on Mr Dornfest and to see if there has been something I may have missed and if anyone from 21st Century is a member. People in Adams County are still to this day waiting to see the "Formula".
local

Newville, PA

#8 Oct 22, 2010
it means nothing ,it`s as flawed as the assessment ! these idiots dont even check the property out they just look at a list telling how big and whats on it and go from there ! I know people who`s taxes jumped dramatically for property that cannot be built on , as if it were prime real estate !
PA Transplant

East Berlin, PA

#9 Oct 22, 2010
Tim Hartlaub Adams County wrote:
I have called to the IAAO Headquarters to see it 21st Century was even a member to date. They have informed me that if they were a member, their name would be in the system as such, but could not find anyone with the Barr name or 21st Century. Just another interesting fact when you make the calls and do some back ground checking. I'll call out agian to check on Mr Dornfest and to see if there has been something I may have missed and if anyone from 21st Century is a member. People in Adams County are still to this day waiting to see the "Formula".
Another name to check to confirm membership - The Barco Group - I think you are right to not trust but verify!

According to the 21st Century website:

"21st Century Appraisals, Inc. is a subsidiary of The Barco Group, a closely-held Pennsylvania private corporation, incorporated under Pennsylvania law in 1976."

And:

"As a company, we are active members of the Assessors Association of Pennsylvania (AAP), the International Association of Assessing Officers (IAAO), and the County Commissioners Association of Pennsylvania (CCAP)."

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