Thursday, July 28, 2016

Understanding The Tax Grievance Process

Property Tax Reduction Consultants
125 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 500 
Jericho, NY 11753
(516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654

Long Island homeowners are no strangers to high property taxes, which is why here at P.T.R.C. Inc., we have made it our mission to ensure that they are paying the lowest amount of property taxes as required by law. How do we do so? By working on their behalf during the tax grievance process.

Property Tax Reduction Long Island | Property Taxes Long Island | P.T.R.C. Inc.

If you're a new homeowner or a homeowner that hasn't taken action to try and reduce your property taxes in the past, we know you might not be familiar with what a tax grievance is and how the process works. That's why today, we're here to share the steps we take so that you are well informed when the opportunity to file comes around again - here's how it works:

Step 1: The first step is for you to submit your signed application during the application period (contact us for specific details on when this is). You'll need to fill out the application based on your county, which can be found on our website when the application period is open.

Step 2: Once we receive your application, look out for a confirmation from our team - we'll confirm that the application has been submitted within the deadline and that you're eligible to file the grievance application.

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

Step 4: Depending on the decision made by the ARC or BAR, we will either accept the reduction or we will move onto a Small Claims Assessment Review (SCAR).

Note: if a reduction is denied at the board level, SCAR is the only way that a reduction can be obtained. A $30 court filing fee is required in order for SCAR to purchase an index number - this guarantees that your case will be heard. 

Step 5: P.T.R.C. Inc. purchases the index number for you and completes all of the necessary paperwork on your behalf. After the appeal has been filed for, the Supreme Court will schedule a hearing. 

Note: many SCAR appeals are filed each year, so it can take several months to get a hearing.

Step 6: Your P.T.R.C. Inc. representative works to prepare all of the documentation needed for the appeal process, including a Comparable Market Analysis.

Step 7: P.T.R.C Inc. appears on your behalf in the hearing and presents all of the evidence needed in order to successfully obtain a reduction.

Step 8: For successful cases, depending on your hearing date and the municipality, there are a few ways in which the reduction can be reflected. For example, you may see it on your tax bills, at which point you would pay your taxes based on the lowered assessed value - in this case, no refund is due to you. 

In some instances, you may receive a refund check directly, which would be issued for any overpayment of taxes that resulted from the reduction.

Lastly, there could be a partial adjustment in your assessed value, in which case you would also receive a partial refund.

If your request for a reduction is turned down, you will not be subjected to any penalties and you can try to file again the following year. 

Still have questions about the grievance process and how our team can help? To learn more, please visit www.ptrc.com or give us a call at (516) or (631) 484-0654. We can also be reached via email at info@ptrc.com!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Top 5 Things Every Aspiring Homeowner Should Know

Property Tax Reduction Consultants
125 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 500 
Jericho, NY 11753
(516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654

Earlier this month, we shared five expenses that all aspiring homeowners absolutely need to be aware of to help them figure out how much house they can truly afford. Today, we're taking it a step further to share some more things that all aspiring homeowners should know, even those things that might not necessarily involve budgeting and money - take a look below.

P.T.R.C. Inc. | Property Tax Reduction Long Island | Tips for Homeowners

1. The school district matters.
It doesn't matter if you don't have children and aren't planning to - the school district always matters when it comes to buying a home. That's because if you plan to sell in the future, buyers who do have children are going to be looking for a home in a neighborhood with top-notch schools. As such, not only will your home be more desirable to buyers if it's in a neighborhood with good schools, but it could also cause your property value to go up.

2. Renovations should always be backed by a professional.
This goes without saying both before you buy a home and after. As you're house hunting, make sure that any and all renovations have been done by a professional - especially renovations that include things like electrical work. DIY may be a trend these days, but for your family's safety, you'll want to make sure that any updates to the home were done correctly.

The same goes once you own a home too. If you plan to do any work, always have a professional involved - you can bet that if you sell in the future, just like you, buyers are going to want a home that doesn't pose any safety risks.

3. Knowing building plans is a must.
Most of the time, aspiring homeowners are concerned with one thing and one thing only - the home that they are about to purchase. However, it's also important to be concerned with building plans that the neighborhood may have. For example, you might find a home with a huge piece of property next to it, but who's to say that the property won't soon be taken over by a commercial building? If you don't want to be surprised after moving in, you'll want to look into what plans the neighborhood has for your block and the surrounding areas.

4. Yes, you must read all documents.
Being handed stacks and stacks of paperwork may seem overwhelming, and you might think you can get by just by reviewing the "important parts." Truth is, you need to read it all, especially if you're moving into a community that requires HOA fees or that might have certain rules and regulations you need to follow. Again, just like knowing building plans can help you avoid surprises, so can reading all the documents you are presented with thoroughly.

5. Land surveys can be incredibly helpful.
Although the seller may tell you where the property begins and ends, it isn't enough just to rely on what they say and hope it's true. If you have any questions about the property and boundary lines, your best bet is to have a land survey done before you buy, especially if you know you'll want to make certain updates such as installing a fence later on.

While there is definitely a lot for aspiring homeowners to look into, by taking the time to do a little research, and by spending some more time planning, you can help create a much more pleasant experience for yourself when it comes time to buy.

Are you hoping to purchase a home on Long Island soon? If so, contact the team here at P.T.R.C. Inc. when it comes time to start discussing your property taxes - if you think you're paying too much, we can work with you to try and find reductions!

For more information about the services we provide, please visit www.ptrc.com or call (516) or (631) 484-0654 today.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Frequently Asked Questions About Property Taxes

Property Tax Reduction Consultants
125 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 500 
Jericho, NY 11753
(516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654

Especially for those who are buying a home for the first time, we know that there is a lot to learn about what it means to be a homeowner - specifically, what expenses are involved? While some answers are easy to figure out (for instance, there's your water bill, and that can be self explanatory), others are bit more involved - here, we're talking about property taxes.

To help you out a bit, today we're answering some of the most frequently asked questions we get about property taxes; take a look below.

Property Tax FAQs

Property Tax FAQs | Property Tax Reduction Long Island | P.T.R.C. Inc.

Q: What determines the amount of a property tax bill?
A: Your property taxes are determined by multiplying your property's assessment (which is your assessment minus any exemptions) by the tax rates for school districts, municipalities, counties and special districts. More on how property taxes are calculated can be found in this blog.

Q: What is a property tax assessment?
A: Like we mentioned in question #1, your property's assessment is used in order to determine how much you pay in property taxes. To figure out your property's assessment, market value is taken into consideration.

Q: What is market value?
A: Market value refers to how much a property would sell for under normal circumstances. For the most part, it is usually determined by comparing the property to other similar homes/properties.

Q: Why do taxes go up every year?
A: Your taxes can change each year for a number of reasons, including changes in the school district or local government such as budget changes and revenue. Also, the tax rates typically increase each year, so even when your property's assessment doesn't change, you'll see an increase since tax rates are a factor in your bill. Of course, if your assessment does change, that could impact things too.

Q: What can I do if my property taxes keep rising?
A: As a homeowner, you are entitled to file what is known as a property tax grievance. What this means is that you can have your assessment reviewed by the assessor to determine if you are eligible for a reduction. If the assessor does not offer a reduction, you may file an appeal to have an impartial hearing officer take a look and determine whether or not your house is overvalued for tax purposes.

Q: Can you explain the property tax grievance process further?
A: Ultimately, property tax grievances are formal complaints against the value your property has been assessed at. The two levels of formal review include:
  • Administrative review (BAR or ARC): this is when the grievance process happens at the municipal level.
  • Judicial review (SCAR): this occurs after the administrative review - in fact, you must go through the administrative review first in order to pursue a judicial review. Currently, the state imposes a $30.00 filing fee for each case it sees.
Q: How long is the grievance process?
A: The grievance process does not happen overnight, so you will need to be prepared for it to take some time - it could take as long as 18 months from start to finish. 

Q: Does it matter if I live in an incorporated village?
A: Typically, yes - most villages have their own assessment rolls for village taxes, so they require a separate filing if you want to grieve their taxes.

Q: When can I file?
A: If you live in Nassau County, you can file between January 1st and March 1st. If you live in Suffolk County, you can file between May 1st and May 17th.

Q: Am I able to apply on my own?
A: Absolutely. However, since most homeowners are not familiar with the information and evidence that is needed to represent themselves properly during a property tax hearing, it's recommended that you turn to a professional such as P.T.R.C. Inc. for help.

Q: What if I am turned down?
A: If your request is turned down, nothing will happen and your property taxes will simply remain the same. You do not have to worry about any penalties, and in fact, you can try to file again the following year if you'd like.

If you're interested in filing a tax grievance for your Long Island home, our team would be more than happy to take care of things on your behalf! We have secured millions of dollars in reductions and refunds for homeowners in the past, and we only charge a fee for successful cases!

For more information about our services, please give us a call at (516) or (631) 484-0654, or email info@ptrc.com.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Top 10 Reasons To Buy A House On Long Island

Property Tax Reduction Consultants
125 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 500 
Jericho, NY 11753
(516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654

Are you getting ready to start house hunting? With 50 states and tons of cities to choose from throughout the country, it can be hard to figure out where you and your family should settle down. But, we'll make it easy for you - choose Long Island! Aside from the easy access Long Islanders have to one of the greatest cities in the world, there are a number of reasons why this particular destination is so desirable - we've listed 10 of them for you below.

P.T.R.C. Inc. | Long Island | Property Taxes Long Island

1. The beaches

It doesn't matter if you choose to live in Nassau or Suffolk County - either way, there's bound to be a beach close by. You're probably familiar with big names such as Jones Beach, but even if you aren't located nearby, there are a ton of smaller, local beaches that will quickly become one of your favorite weekend hot spots.

2. The seasons

There's nothing like knowing you'll get to experience all four seasons and the beautiful scenery that comes with each of them. Summers may get hot, and winters may get cold (Long Islanders are certainly no strangers to snow), but the change in weather is something we all appreciate - especially when the leaves change color in the fall.

3. The trails

You don't have to live in the mountains to have access to incredible trails! Between the beaches and parks alone, there are a number of trails that you can check out for walking and/or biking - we bet you'll be impressed with the views too!

4. The wine tasting

Between the Hamptons and the North Fork, there are tons of vineyards that you can visit for a wine tasting outing. In fact, with so many options for where to go, you can plan several weekend trips and experience something different each time!

5. The shopping

If you're one of those people who absolutely loves to shop 'til you drop, Long Island has plenty of places for you - starting with Roosevelt Field Mall. It's considered one of the biggest shopping malls in New York state and the country, and has everything from clothes to accessories, gadgets, sporting goods and more.

6. The food

No matter what type of cuisine you're looking for, we bet you can find it here on Long Island. For example, if you like seafood, you can definitely find some popular dining spots in waterfront communities, such as Freeport's Nautical Mile. Of course that's not all Long Island has to offer, though - we've got some of the best Italian restaurants, steakhouses, burger joints and more too!

7. The museums

You'd be surprised at how much you can learn just by visiting a few popular Long Island tourist attractions. One of our favorite stops is Sagamore Hill (home to U.S President Theodore Roosevelt), but then there's also Museum Row, which is where you can find the Cradle of Aviation, the Nassau County Firefighter Museum and Education Center, and the Long Island Children's Museum.

8. The entertainment

Especially in the summertime, you can catch a number of concerts at large venues like Jones Beach or smaller venues like your local park. Both indoor and outdoor concerts are held, and there's an event for nearly every genre of music at some point. For children, there are also amusement parks like Adventureland that offer rides, games, food and more!

9. The transportation

No car? No problem! The Long Island Railroad makes traveling extremely easy for Long Islanders - it'll take you right into New York City or all the way out east! But that's not all Long Island offers - there are also the ferries and easily accessible airports just a short distance away, which makes getting off of the island a piece of cake!

10. The people

Last, but certainly not least, the people are what make Long Island a great place to call home - we've got some of the best you'll find!

And there you have it! If you're looking for a place to find the perfect home for your family, Long Island is the answer. For those of you who already live here, what's your favorite thing about it? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

Since 1990, P.T.R.C. Inc. has been specializing in reducing property taxes for Long Island homeowners. As one of the leaders in property tax challenges on Long Island, P.T.R.C. Inc.'s mission is to ensure that clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. For more information, call (516) or (631) 484-0654 or email info@ptrc.com.

Thursday, July 14, 2016

5 Expenses All New Homeowners Should Be Aware Of

Property Tax Reduction Consultants
125 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 500 
Jericho, NY 11753
(516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654

Before setting out to buy a house, one of the most obvious things to do is sit down and figure out where you stand financially and determine what you can afford - here, you'll take into consideration things like estimated mortgage payments, insurance, and property taxes.

However, although these are some of the "big" expenses, there are several others that must not be forgotten, as they too have a large impact on what becomes realistic for you. To help you ensure that you're looking for homes that are within your budget (remember - you don't want to take on too much and become "house poor"), we've listed out some additional expenses all homeowners should be aware of below.

Property Taxes Long Island | Homeowner Expenses | P.T.R.C. Inc.

Utilities
Your utility bills include things like electricity, water, and gas. Even if you're already living in your own home, don't assume that what you pay in utilities now will transfer over exactly to your new home - if it has more square footage, expenses may go up as there is more space to heat and cool throughout the year (just as an example).

Cable
It would be pretty hard to live without TV and WiFi these days! If you'll be using the same provider for your new home as you were in your last home or apartment, you can likely estimate your future cable expenses pretty well. But, if you plan to add additional TVs and cable boxes or upgrade your WiFi, you should prepare for a change in costs.

Landscaping
This one is especially important for you to know if you're going from renting to buying. Of course there are some homeowners who choose to eliminate landscaping costs by doing the work themselves, but even in that case it still becomes your responsibility to purchase the tools and materials needed to take care of your yard.

Repairs
Even if the home you buy is not a fixer-upper, keep in mind that things like the roof and HVAC system won't last forever. If you choose a home where you know repairs will be needed sooner rather than later, you'll need to make room in the budget beforehand so that you aren't scrambling to save and cover such costs right after moving in.

Homeowner Association Fees
If you're hoping to purchase a home in a community, especially one with amenities such as a swimming pool, fitness center and clubhouse, there may be a homeowner association fee required to cover costs such as ground maintenance - this fee may be monthly, quarterly or yearly.

If you're getting ready to start house hunting, don't forget to consider these costs when coming up with your budget. And as you do so, a good trick is to even overcompensate for some of these expenses so that you're prepared financially in case something should surprise you down the road.

Since 1990, P.T.R.C. Inc. has been specializing in reducing property taxes for Long Island homeowners. As one of the leaders in property tax challenges on Long Island, P.T.R.C. Inc.'s mission is to ensure that clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. For more information, call (516) or (631) 484-0654 or email info@ptrc.com.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Questions To Ask Before Buying A Home

Property Tax Reduction Consultants
125 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 500 
Jericho, NY 11753
(516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654

Regardless of how experienced you are with home buying, each of your house hunting journeys are bound to be a bit different - sometimes the process will be quick and simple, and other times the process may be long and challenging. But, no matter what turn of events you experience along the way, one thing that can help you be a little more prepared is by having the right questions ready.

If you're ready to start looking for a new home, below are the top 5 questions we recommend asking before signing.

Property Taxes Long Island | Homes on Long Island | P.T.R.C. Inc.

1. What are other homes in the neighborhood worth?
To determine if the seller's asking price is an accurate representation of what the home is worth, start by learning what other homes in the area have sold for. If the asking price doesn't seem to line up with neighborhood comps, your next question should be, "why?" What is it about this particular home that is causing the price to be higher or lower?

2. How long has the home been up for sale?
The answer to this question will not only help you figure out if the price is reasonable, but it'll also help you figure out if there is something about the home that hasn't been discussed yet. For example, if the home has had trouble selling even though it's listed at a fair price, what is it about the home or the neighborhood that is keeping buyers away? If, on the other hand, it's only been on the market for a short period of time, you should then try to find out how many offers have been put in to see what the competition is like.

3. Are there any major problems to be aware of?
The seller probably won't be in a rush to let you know about problems they've experienced in the home - after all, the goal is to sell the house, not keep it - but if you make the first move and ask, you're more likely to get the information you're looking for. That said, don't hesitate to open up a dialogue where you ask about things such as flooding potential and structural issues, as well as information about the neighborhood itself.

4. Do you have warranties on recent updates?
Say, for example, that the current homeowner recently updated the heating and cooling system - if something goes wrong a few months or a year from now, you'll want to know if you're covered! So, find out what updates have been made to the home in the past few years and ask if there are any warranties in place so that you can determine what repair and replacement costs you might be responsible for down the line. 

5. How is the school district?
Aside from information about the home itself, you'll certainly want to dive into a conversation about the neighborhood - starting with the schools. Even if you don't have children that will be entering the district, if you ever go to sell the home in the future, you can bet that buyers will be looking for a home in an area with top-of-the-line school systems. While you can likely find some information about a school district's rating online, it's always helpful to get direct insight from the seller too - especially if they had children who went through the schools.

For those of you with aspirations to purchase a home on Long Island, after the sale is complete and you start to learn more about things such as property taxes, connect with the experts here at P.T.R.C. Inc. to learn how we can help. Since 1990 we have been helping homeowners in Nassau and Suffolk County reduce their property taxes, and we'd love to be able to help you next!

To learn more about our services, please visit www.ptrc.com or call (516) or (631) 484-0654.

Friday, July 8, 2016

How Are Property Taxes Calculated?

Property Tax Reduction Consultants
125 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 500 
Jericho, NY 11753
(516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654

Being a homeowner comes with the responsibility of taking on a ton of different expenses - mortgages, mortgage insurance, electric bills, water bills, landscaping, you get the idea. But aside from these, there is one very important expense that may sometimes be forgotten, or at least overlooked when purchasing a home or when evaluating homeowner costs - property taxes.

Property Taxes Long Island | P.T.R.C. Inc.

We all have them, but all too often (especially here on Long Island), homeowners are paying more than they should be in property taxes. That's why it's so important to know how they're calculated - if you're paying more than you should be, you need to be aware of it!

Determining Property Taxes

To find out how much your property tax bill will be, all you have to do is multiply your property's assessment (which is your assessment minus exemptions) by the tax rates for municipalities, counties, school districts and special districts.

Now, for those who are thinking of purchasing a home, chances are you're looking at the listing to give you a good idea about what you'll be paying in property taxes. However, it's important to keep in mind that what you see on the home's listing is typically a summary of the current year's property tax bill - when homes are sold, assessed values tend to change, which, you guessed it, impacts your property taxes on that particular home. It's also important to remember that the current homeowner may have been eligible for exemptions that might not apply to you, and also, what the home was assessed at for the current homeowner might not be an accurate reflection of the market value to date.

As a team that has been working to help lower property taxes for Long Island homeowners since 1990, we at P.T.R.C. Inc. know that understanding property taxes can be confusing! No need to worry though, we're here to answer any questions you may have regarding your property taxes, and if you file a grievance application, we'll take all of the necessary steps on your behalf to try and find you some savings.

For more information about our company or the grievance process, please visit us on our website or call (516) or (631) 484-0654 today.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Connect With P.T.R.C. Inc. On Social Media!

Property Tax Reduction Consultants
125 Jericho Turnpike, Suite 500 
Jericho, NY 11753
(516) 484-0654 or (631) 484-0654

Property Tax | P.T.R.C Inc. | Long Island
Do you live on Long Island and feel that you're paying more in property tax than you should be? If you answered "yes," know that you're not alone - there are a ton of homeowners in both Nassau and Suffolk County who in fact are paying more than their fair share of property tax. 

We have good news though - our job is to help Long Island homeowners like you save money on your property taxes where applicable! Since our company's inception we have secured millions of dollars in reductions and refunds for our clients, and we would love to work with you next.

Now we know what you're thinking - where can you find the information you need to know about property taxes and filing a tax grievance? Aside from our website, we highly encourage you to connect with us on social media! 

On our Facebook and Twitter profiles (and of course right here on our blog), we share all of the details on applications and grievance deadlines, as well as general tips and info that we think all homeowners should know.

So, are you ready to get started? Just head on over to Facebook or Twitter and log into your account, then either search for P.T.R.C. Inc. or Property Tax Reduction Consultants and LIKE and FOLLOW our pages! Or, to make it easier, all you have to do is click on the "Facebook" or "Twitter" links above. We can't wait to connect with you!

P.T.R.C. Inc. has been specializing in reducing Long Island property taxes since 1990. As one of the leaders in property tax challenges on Long Island, P.T.R.C. Inc.'s main objective is to minimize clients' property tax assessments and their mission is to ensure that clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. For more information, call (516) or (631) 484-0654 or email info@ptrc.com.