Monday, March 19, 2018

Places to Visit During Spring in Long Island

While visiting Long Island can be delightful all year long, it is especially terrific during the spring. The mild temperatures and warm air invite people to spend time indoors and outdoors. 

Sagamore Hill National Historic Site, Oyster Bay

There were two president Roosevelts. The first was Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt was brought up in Manhattan but summered in Long Island. Enchanted with the island, he bought a home of his own in his twenties. Today, Sagamore Hill welcomes visitors all year long. People can see where Roosevelt raised a family of six with his second wife. The gorgeous grounds are perfect on a spring day.

Old Westbury Gardens 

Spring is a time for flowers and gardens. Long Island is home to some of the finest along the eastern seaboard. Head to Old Westbury for a mansion surrounded by two hundred acres. You'll find ponds, lakes and plenty of places to take a shady walk and see local flora in full bloom. Guided tours will show you dozens of charming spaces.

Long Island Children's Museum

If your kids are off for spring break, bring them here on a rainy day. This Garden City museum has lots of things that kids can see and learn about. Fourteen interactive exhibits encourage exploration of the natural world and creative play as well as fun family time. There's also a live theater that encourages kids to participate in plays geared to their age group. Free parking makes it easy to get there and home.

Montauk Point Lighthouse

Perched at the very tip of the island, Montauk is place for summer crowds heading for a fashionable beach resort. It also makes a great spring day trip. The lighthouse is an ideal option for a warm spring day of fun. This is the oldest lighthouse in New York state. There's a museum on the grounds that brings the past history of the area to life again. Guided tours take people into each corner of the lighthouse and up the stairs. Take a climb to the top. When you get there, marvel at views that stretch across three states. The off season means you'll have less company so can enjoy the entire place even more.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Places to Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Long Island

We all know that the Irish people have a strong heritage and a great influence on American culture. They have given America great things. However, one of the greatest things that the Irish people gave to America is the St. Patrick’s Day celebration. 

So, if you like to wear green, find lucky clovers or go looking for a leprechaun’s gold at the end of a rainbow; then St. Patrick’s Day is the time for you. This is an old tradition that pays tribute to Ireland’s former St. Patrick. In case you didn’t know he was a saintly man who brought the Christian faith to the Irish people during the 5th century A.D.

The Long Island area of New York city has the nation’s 9th largest Irish community. When St. Patrick’s Day comes around the people here put on a grand performance and celebration. Let’s take a look at some of the best events and places for your family and you to visit during this festive occasion.

1. Parades, Parades and More Parades 

There are over 15 different parades that take place throughout the week - leading up to St. Patrick’s Day. Each section of the Long Island area has a parade on different dates before March 17. The official St. Patrick’s Day parade is the culmination of these minor processions.

2. Eat, Drink and be Irish 

You can eat your favorite Irish dishes at places such as Paddy's Loft in Massapequa, Rachel’s Waterside Grill and the Library CafĂ© in Farmingdale. St. Patrick’s Day is also known for its green beer and there are plenty of pubs that provide this famous green colored alcoholic beverage on St. Paddy’s Day.

Lily Flanagan's Pub in Babylon; Stinger's Irish Pub in Rockville Centre and the Oyster Bay Brewing Company in the Oyster Bay area also provide some of refreshing brews during this fun time of the year. Finnegan’s Restaurant & Tap Room in the Huntington area is considered one of the best places to visit for beer during St. Patrick’s Day.

3. St. Patrick’s Day Fairs and Festivals 

On March 11, 2018 the 20th Annual Irish Experience festival will be presented in Long Island at the Hofstra University. This event is for the family and kids. East Wind, Long Island is the destination for the 2018 I Love Chocolate Fest. This festival takes place on the 17th and 18th of March. There are plenty of other local celebrations, fund raising events and community events in the Long Island area that you can attend to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day.

Have a fun and safe holiday over the weekend. Use ride share services if you've had too much during celebration!  Happy St. Patrick's Day from PTRC. 

Monday, March 5, 2018

The P.T.R.C. Inc. Grievance Process

Deadlines are coming up in case you missed it:

Nassau County filing deadline has been extended to April 2nd, 2018. 

Suffolk County deadline is May 15th, 2018.

Here is a step by step guide of the grievance process at PTRC.  If you are confused by any of the steps or need to book an appointment, please reach out to us today.

Step 1 - Submit your signed application.

Step 2- Receive confirmation from P.T.R.C. Inc. that we received your application within the deadline and you’re eligible to file the grievance application.

Step 3 – P.T.R.C. Inc. will represent you before the Board of Assessment Review (BAR) in Suffolk County, or the Assessment Review Commission (ARC) in Nassau County.

Step 4 – Based on the decision rendered by the ARC or BAR, P.T.R.C. Inc. will either accept the reduction or we will proceed to Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR).

Step 5 – SCAR is the only way to obtain a reduction if denied at the board level. We have proven extremely successful here! A $30 court filing fee is required for SCAR to purchase an index number which guarantees your case to be heard.

Step 6 – P.T.R.C. Inc. will purchase the index number and complete all necessary paperwork on your behalf. Once your appeal is filed it is up to Supreme Court to schedule a hearing (This can take up to several months because of the numerous SCAR appeals being filed).

Step 7 – We will prepare all the necessary documentation including a Comparable Market Analysis to be used in the appeal process.

Step 8 - We will appear on your behalf and present all the needed evidence to succeed.

Step 9 – Once successful, depending on the municipality and your hearing date a reduction granted can be reflected/adjusted in a number of ways. Such as, the reduction can be reflected on your tax bills in which case you would pay your taxes based on the lowered assessed value and thus no refund will be due you. Another method would be that a refund check can be issued for any overpayment of taxes as a result of the reduction. An additional method can be that a partial adjustment in your assessed value and a partial refund can be issued. A number of factors can influence the method in which the different municipalities reflect/adjust your property tax bill each municipality and reduction can be unique.

Step 10 – Send in your application for the next year to try and continue to reduce your property taxes.

To learn more, contact us today  (516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654 |

Monday, February 26, 2018

Who and What is

You may have seen us promote and speak about in our social media posts. Who are they? What are they up to? Let's highlight who they are in today's blog. matches children with disabilities with children who are on track for typical cognitive development for play dates. is a501(c)(3) charity that charges nothing to any of it's participants. They rely only on the funding of donations from the community to run.

Because of their disability, they may look or act differently than other kids in class and this can create large obstacles in making friends. The way this program is designed,  kids with disabilities will have the chance to communicate and interact with children who may not be exactly like them and vice versa.

This gives the chance for children without disabilities learn to develop empathy, creating a model peer to have in school. Play dates are guided and run in fun and safely monitored environments.

The overall idea is to promote a better elementary school experience. says, "When I talk with adults with disabilities they all seem to share a similar story about when they were in elementary school…that they had never been invited to a birthday party or on a play date.  As the mother of three children, each of whom was diagnosed with autism by the age of two, this broke my heart.  I didn’t want this future for my own children or anyone else’s child."

If you feel this is an organization you would like to your child to participate in, disability or not, there is an application process you can learn more about on Peer Pals' site here:

PeerPals is also actively looking for special education teachers, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, physical therapists, aba teachers, and regular education teachers to volunteer. If you feel this might fit your calling, check out how to volunteer here:

Keep in Mind, Sean Acosta is being honored as their Community Champion!  Learn more about this evening event here: 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Why are Property Taxes a Thing? What do they do?

Understanding Property Taxes
Property taxes are often not a favorite subject for people to discuss. In fact, most people who pay property taxes believe they are paying taxes that are way too high for the services they are receiving. In general, property taxes are based on the value of property you own. This is true for people who own real estate, vehicles and business property.

But in addition to how they come up with tax amounts many people are unaware of exactly what services they get from paying their taxes. It is important for you to understand what your taxes are based on and what your taxes pay for within your government. Basically, property taxes pay for a town to operate. They pay for schools, parks, government officials, road maintenance and first responders.

How Municipalities Create Their Tax Base

The first step for a municipality is coming up with a list of property value amounts within their district for real estate, vehicles and business property. Then, a town or city taxable rate is created by coming up with a budget of town wide expenses. From this, the municipal government creates a mill rate for real estate property and a tax rate for vehicles and business property to pay for the municipal budgeted amounts needed during a set period of time. These tax rates are equivalent to creating a percentage of value needed on these properties to pay for the governmental services to operate the community.

Property Valuation

In addition to understanding what your taxes pay for, it equally important to understand what things you own gets taxed and how they come up with the value of your property. Property taxes are assessed only on the things you own substantial value that fits into the category of real estate, vehicles or business equipment. Only these items are taxable, personal property, furniture and jewels etc. are not taxable.

Each taxable property is placed in a list by the town tax department and are valued by a town or city assessment office. The real estate of a town is compiled and put into a list called the Grand List. The motor vehicle list and business equipment lists are separate from the Grand List.

Once the lists are made, the tax department obtains values on each property owned. This is done by having value placed on the property by assessors who are educated in the field of property valuations and know how to assess values of property. The basic premise is that you are only taxed based on the value of what you own. This applies to real estate, vehicles and business equipment. 

Once your property is given a value, that value amount is then multiplied by the town’s mill rates and tax rates. This is what creates the amount you pay in taxes each year. The area that is often up to debate within this taxation system is the valued amount of property. This is the area that property owners often dispute in order to lower their taxes.

Contact us today if you have any questions. Don't forget, 

Nassau County filing deadline has been extended to April 2nd, 2018.
Suffolk County deadline is May 15th, 2018.

Friday, February 16, 2018

Which Types of Property Tax Relief are Available to Taxpayers?

To reduce the homeowners' property tax burden, there are various property tax relief programs available in every state. Of course, certain criteria must be met to qualify for the various property tax relief programs. 

For New York, the following property tax relief programs are available:

  • Property tax relief credit- to qualify, you must reside in a school district complying with their state property tax cap, have income less or equal to $275,000, have paid the 2017 school property taxes, and have received the Enhanced STAR or Basic STAR credit or exemption.

  • Basic STAR recipients- recipients who are eligible for this credit will gain a Basic STAR savings' percentage according to income. Also, there are credit limitations. 

  • New York City enhanced real property tax credit- this is for households with a gross income lower than $200,000. Also, you must have resided in the same residence of New York City for at least six months, must be a resident of New York City for an entire tax year, can't be claimed as a taxpayer's dependent on his/her federal income tax return, had a residence not completely exempted by real property taxes, and meet other conditions as a renter or homeowner. The Form NYC-208 has more details about this tax credit. 

  • Property tax exemptions- besides the STAR program, other common property tax exemptions for New York include the senior citizens exemption, veterans' exemption, exemption for persons with disabilities, and exemptions for agricultural properties. There are a lot more property tax exemptions than these mentioned. 

The following are other property tax relief programs which apply to every state, including New York:

  • Homestead exemption- property taxes are reduced on normally a principal residence through excluding a part of the property value from taxes. 

  • Circuit breaker programs- contracting with traditional homestead exemption through a variable, such as property value or household income, the eligible resident is someone who's property tax exceeds a certain level of his/her income. 

  • Expenditure limit- a ceiling is placed on how much the local government can generate in revenue. 

  • A Limit on the assessed value/the tax rate- is set in place when the value/tax rate is increased in a given year.

If you have any questions, please contact us today:  (516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654 |

Monday, February 5, 2018

Places to Visit During President’s Day Weekend

Lower East Side, the Hidden Gem of New York

President's Day is coming up and families love to travel. One thing a family can do is incorporate history in their trip. If you are going to travel or stay local, maybe think of historic places near New York City. When people visit New York City, they think of Times Square, Central Park, Wall Street and maybe ethnic neighborhoods like Chinatown and Little Italy. 

However, one of the most overlooked districts of Manhattan is the ‘Lower East Side,’ known affectionally by locals as L.E.S. This old neighborhood is steep in culture and history, and a visit will reward you with unexpected discoveries, excitement, and knowledge for you and your family. Such a learning experience of our history is so close by.

Getting to LES is easy. Just take the F.M.J or Z trains and get off at Delancey and Essex. When you walk up the stairs you will be at the heart of LES. Here are a few ‘must go’ and ‘must do’ things when you visit LES.

1. The Tenement Museum 

If you have kids, then a tour of this restored tenement building is a must. It will make them appreciate the hardships our forefathers endured to live their dreams. They will be shocked by the squalor conditions where thousands of people were crammed into without running water or basic toilet facilities.

2. Katz’s Delicatessen

This 24/7 jam-packed Jewish deli opened for business back in 1888. During WW II the male owners all served in the armed forces. The family left behind began the popular tradition and slogan “Send A Salami To Your Boy In The Army.”

Katz’s achieved Hollywood fame when the comedy hit ‘When Harry met Sally' was filmed there. None English speaking movie fans will never forget that deli scene. Waves of Asian tourist still come to Katz and order NYC's biggest and meanest Pastrami sandwich that Sally had.

3. Economy Candy 

'Economy' is not a candy store as much as a library for candies. If you can not find a particular brand of candy, then the country probably does not exist. Russian chocolates are not well known, but it is delicious and make wonderful treats.

4. Bialystoker Synagogue 

Construction for this synagogue began in 1826 by Russian Jews that is present-day Poland. This historic site is significant to both Jews and American blacks. In the early days of the civil rights struggle, it was a rest stop for the Underground Railroad movement. Runaway African slaves from the South found sanctuary in the attic of Bialystoker Synagogue.

5. Mr. Purple / Hotel Indigo (180 Orchid St)

Mr. purple is the penthouse restaurant-bar on top of the boutique Hotel Indigo. It represents the new chic in LES. It has excellent views and a vibrant feel. Just beware, on weekend nights Mr. Purple will be jam-packed with young cruisers looking for quick hookups.

6. Freeman’s 

You will definitely impress your guest as a seasoned explorer when you take them to Freeman’s, a hidden gem in one of New York City's secret streets.

The walk down the graffiti-filled Freeman Alley is a trip in itself. At the end of the alley is Freeman’s, a very cool restaurant with delicious foods that is just as amazing.

A visit to Lower Eastside would make an excellent weekend destination during Presidents Day, for a whole family or just a single adult, for a day for the entire weekend. 

We hope one or two of these locations sparks your interest. Either yourself or you and your family will benefit taking a trip to one of these historic and local locations.