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Scarsdale Forum Examines 2014 and 2016 Revaluations and Makes Recommendations for the Future

SCARSDALE, NY (7/14/18) -- The Scarsdale Forum Assessment Revaluation Committee has released a report on the 2014 and 2016 revaluations.

The report recognizes that there were too many instances in both revaluations where the results were not adequately explained and, worse, where the processes and the results could credibly and logically be considered unfair. However, the premise and focus of the report is that, with the benefit of hindsight, Scarsdale can learn from these revaluations to prevent a repeat of the problems. The goal is to put future Scarsdale leadership in a better position to supervise/manage a revaluation and to stand behind it in an informed and convincing way.

The committee recognizes that learning these lessons and applying them requires an understanding of the technical and sometimes arcane details of revaluations and of assessment processes generally. Therefore, the report is designed to explain this material to residents regardless of their expertise in these areas. It uses these explanations to demonstrate how specific aspects of both revaluations had actual unfair impacts and created additional perceptions of unfairness. The report makes recommendations to prevent, or at least minimize, these deficiencies in the future.

The report specifically addresses six topical areas that comprise the revaluation process and makes recommendations with respect to each.

  • Inventory Data

  • Valuation Modeling and Methodology

  • Land Valuation

  • Documentation

  • Validation

  • Sales Data

The report includes many appendices that support the committee’s observations and add to the report’s value as a reference source. These include assessment industry literature, useful New York State materials, documentation from both revaluations, and some technical papers and spreadsheets. There is also an appendix that restates all the recommendations.

The committee believes the report will be a valuable educational resource, should any revaluations be considered in the near- to mid-future. While not every member of the public may wish to study it, the report has been developed in the belief that there will be those who do want to learn from it and use it as a guide. The Scarsdale Forum strongly encourages all leaders of the Scarsdale community to be familiar with its content and recommendations.

The committee members recognize that they are not experts in this field and are not declaring that any future revaluation must conform in all respects to this report. Rather, the committee believes that this report establishes expectations in terms of depth and detail of analysis. In any future revaluation, the assessor and any vendor should be expected to engage the public and address public concerns at this level.

This report takes no position on the current (July 2018) state of the Scarsdale assessment or on the timing of future revaluations. This is not to say that these are unimportant topics. Rather, these are potentially controversial topics and they are likely to require more analysis.

A copy of the report is available here.

Scarsdale Forum

The Scarsdale Forum is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization dedicated to community education through discussion and analysis of issues relevant to Scarsdale residents. Since 1904, it has contributed meaningfully to Scarsdale Village affairs through its written reports, public speaker events, and committee discussions. Membership is available to all Scarsdale and Mamaroneck Strip residents, regardless of citizenship status.

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