Paul E. Smith
President, New York State Assessors' Association
It is with great honor and appreciation that I stand before you as the 70th president of the New York State Assessors’ Association. I am humbled and honored to have been elected by the membership, and to be given the opportunity to lead this this great organization and to continue the efforts of the many dedicated individuals that have preceded me as President, many of whom are here tonight, and many of whom who continue to serve the association and our membership.
Before I continue, I would like to thank my wife Judi, who has been very supportive and understanding of my service on the Executive Board during the last 6 years, I’d like to recognize my friends from the Oneida County Assessors’ Association who are here in attendance tonight, and who have graciously provided the favors that are in front of you... thank you. I also need to acknowledge that there many individuals, those who are here tonight and those who could not be in attendance, that have been instrumental in guiding me for the past 15 years, both professionally and as a member of the Executive Board …Last but certainly not least, I would like to recognize the dedicated individuals up here with me tonight, for their hard work in representing the New York State Assessors’ Association. Thank you all for sharing in this event.
In my 15 years as an assessor, we have seen many changes and proposed changes that have had an impact on what we do and how we do it. The implementation, and ongoing proliferation of STaR and other tax relief initiatives that have turned the Assessor’s office into a “must stop” destination for taxpayers, whenever they are in Town Hall.The merging of ORPS with DTF, and the reduced support role that ORPS has in providing the training, valuation support and legal opinions that all Assessor’s, from the newly appointed to the most seasoned assessor, need to do their job properly to produce a fair and equitable assessment roll.
We have seen Legislative changes , that have impacted the way we value certain properties…BUT the one thing that hasn’t changed…is that all of us, as Assessors’, continue to take pride in serving the taxpayer’s, and providing fair and equitable assessment rolls, with the same dedication we always have, despite all these changes.I am confident that if we work together, in our efforts to maintain and grow the professionalism that has always carried the NYSAA, we will not only succeed in our efforts to continue to serve the Assessment community, the taxpayers, and our respective municipalities, but we will be stronger.
It is with all of that in mind, that I enter the upcoming year, with the belief that now as much as ever, that all of us, as members of the NYSAA must support each other. Whether it’s mentoring a new assessor or volunteering for committees, regardless of how inexperienced you believe yourself to be.
I plan to continue the emphasis on mentoring, I am not the first President to see the need for providing assistance to new Assessors or recruiting and grooming qualified and dedicated individuals to be assessors... but I do see the need for the NYSAA to provide that assistance to our members, to be growing more important every day.Another emphasis will be, after many years in the idea stage and many logistical hurdles, to provide a password secure section of our website, to provide a place for assessors to share ideas and experiences, as well sharing tools that you feel would help others in doing their job more efficiently.
As always, we will continue to emphasize the educational offerings provided by the NYSAA and Institute of Assessing Officers.We will continue to ask for our County Association’s to assist in promoting our Legislative Agenda; among those items we will be focusing on are: amending current Legislation to better define fiber optics as real property and amending the condominium law.
In closing, I would like to thank all of you again for the opportunity to serve you as your President.