Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Statistics as a blunt instrument

The folks over at Olentangy for Kids are trying to use statistics to prove that property values are directly linked to the local school district. But their statistics are blunt and their conclusions dull -- but their conclusions tell the story they want told ... just like that old saying, "There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics."

Here is
their analysis: Scioto Reserve – In the Scioto Reserve subdivision, some of the homes are part of Olentangy, while others are part of Buckeye Valley. Here is a comparison of home sales in 2010 within that subdivision:

Interestingly, I analyzed this very same question five years ago. So I figured I would analyze it once again.

To get the data (I have no idea which hat OFK pulled their data from), I went to the county auditor's site and pulled recent sales figures (from January 2010 to present) for houses (not condos) in Scioto Reserve. I then had to filter out new construction (new construction sales have not been tested by the market) as well as any sale that is not considered an arms-length sale (there is a column on the auditor's sales report that shows valid sales). This is my data.

I then ran some statistical models (you can download a demo version of my favorite tool, NLREG, from NLREG.com) in order to see what the data says (if anything).

It turns out that there is little difference between sale prices in Scioto Reserve based on the district alone. In fact, no one should make any claim whatsoever regarding the effect of the district on property value (based on Scioto Reserve as the sample). None whatsoever.

This is the same conclusion I reached when I previously analyzed Olentangy and Buckey Valley, as well as Olentangy and Big Walnut.

But I am certain that OFK will continue using the dull conclusions of their blunt statistics.


Anonymous said...

I know 4 families in Scioto Reserve who purposely looked for a home in the BVSD because they did not want the higher taxes... AND they appreciated the BV teachers union taking a O% all-around pay freeze for the last yr. of their contract. Once upon a time,SR residents wanted annexed into the OLSD but not now. They want left in the BVSD and believe their kids are getting a good education.

Anonymous said...

In checking Olentangy property values vs. Buckeye Valley property values I was prompted to pull up BV’s report card (just for the heck of it) and I noticed they are rated Excellent with Distinction and OLSD is only rated Excellent. Can you comment on how BV funds thir school since their property values are lower? thanks

Jim Fedako said...

Their property values are not low. They do have a school district income tax to supplement their very low property tax.

Anonymous said...

so who come out worse - OLSD or BVSD regarding total tax burden?

Jim Fedako said...

Olentangy. It's tough to have a higher tax burden than Olentangy.