Thursday, January 30, 2020

Top Things to Do in Winter on Long Island

Wintertime on Long Island is a perfect time to spend time with the family! While the weather may be chilly, that doesn’t mean you have to stay put in your home.

Here are our favorite winter activities on Long Island:

Go Skating. 
A local favorite is Christopher Morley Park. They have voted this two hundred foot rink the best outdoor rink on Long Island.
Take a Hike.

 From a short walk to an invigorating journey, winter is the perfect time to take a hike with the family. Try Caleb Smith State Park for a nice walk, or the Quoge Wildlife Refuge for hiking, nature workshops, and more.

Head to a Museum.
 For a warm, indoor family outing, try the Cradle of Aviation Museum or the Long Island Children’s Museum.

Take a Seal Cruise.
 Long Island’s waterways are full of marine life, and what better way to view them than Captain Lou’s Seal Watching tour?

Visit the Aquarium.
 If you’re not looking to set sails but still want a maritime adventure, head to the Long Island Aquarium!

Go Bowling.
Winter weather means it can be harder to get outside and play your favorite sport. However, you can still keep up some family-friendly competition with a few games of bowling!

See a Movie.
Whether it’s a date-night or a family outing. Consider indulging in a dine-in movie experience to see one of the newest box-office hits.

Here at P.T.R.C., Inc., we are determined to help our clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. Contact us today to see how we can help you:

Best Neighborhoods for Families on Long Island

Even in the worst-case scenario, a home buyer in the Long Island area won't see their house depreciate in value. This means that now is a good time to purchase property in the Long Island area, because your property will either go up in value, bringing you a profit in a few years or stay the same and not lose you any money. However, some towns are better fit for a young, growing family.

Neighbors for Young Families

We suggest that you choose a community with prices that are stable. This will ensure that your property will hold its value if you decide to sell your home down the line. Between 2 counties, 13 townships, 205 villages, and hamlets, and over 2 million people — so where should you buy your home? Consider one of these options:

Plainview, Nassau County

Ranked the top city on Long Island, Plainview is a quaint suburban hamlet with easy access to major highways and train stations. Plainview’s schools are excellent, and the area holds many large shopping centers and parks.

East Meadow, Nassau County

East Meadow is an unincorporated hamlet which holds some of Long Island’s largest parks and top school district — which was ranked second in the entire state of New York. It is also known for its great growth potential.

Commack, Suffolk County

While Commack was first settled for its rich soil and farmland, it’s now known for its quick access to highways, making commutes a breeze, and its family-oriented atmosphere.

North Bellmore, Nassau County

North Bellmore is ranked among the topmost family-friendly neighborhoods in the entire state of New York. This city is also a quick ride from state beaches.

West Islip, Suffolk County

This south shore town is an extremely family-friendly, and offers a fantastic school system. There are also plenty of activities, such as clubs and cultural enrichment organizations.

Merrick, Nassau County

Located on the south shore of Long Island, Merrick is one of the top maritime cities for young families. This town has an abundant amount of community parks and activities, with Jones Beach just a short 10-15 minute drive away. Merrick’s school districts also rank some of the best on the island.

Here at P.T.R.C., Inc., we are determined to help our clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. Contact us today to see how we can help you:

Ways to Show Your Home Some Love

With Valentine’s Day coming up, you will want to focus on love. Most importantly, you may want to send your loved ones a sweet card or pick up a box of their favorite chocolates. As you may be looking for ways to show love for your loved ones, you may also want to show the things you appreciate the most some TLC — like your home.

Here are some ways you can show your home some love this Valentine’s Day:

  • Fill it with flowers. Everyone loves getting flowers on Valentine’s Day — even your home! The atmosphere in your home will be fresher and you’ll get to enjoy the look of fresh flowers in your living space, too. 
  • Buy some new decor. Not only will your home feel new and bright, but you will also enjoy the luxurious feel that it brings to a room you felt needed some work
  • Get a head start on home projects. Whether it is a broken table leg or a hole in the wall, taking out the extra time to show your home some love and fix it will be the perfect way to show your house some appreciation this Valentine's Day. 

Here at P.T.R.C., Inc., we are determined to help our clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. Contact us today to see how we can help you:

Tuesday, January 28, 2020

What to Expect at a Property Tax Hearing

Fighting Your Property Taxes

If you are attending a property tax hearing, there are some things that you should be prepared for beforehand to ensure the best possible outcome for your case. Read on to learn more.

If you do not agree with the amount of taxes that you are said to owe for the 2020/2021 tax year, you need to file an appeal and get a confirmation from our experts at P.T.R.C., Inc. stating that you are eligible to appeal this process. We must get this information by the deadline or it will not count.

Filing time is once a year, don’t miss the deadlines! Applications must be received in our office by 2pm:

Nassau                 2021/22                 March 2nd, 2020 

Suffolk                 2020/21                 May 19th,  2020   

Preparing for a Property Tax Grievance Hearing

Before going to this hearing, you need to review the appraisers’ information on the home by reviewing the condition, utility, and desirability. If it is sound that the appraisal was not accurate, then it will often be corrected if this information can be validated.

The condition of the home will have a direct impact on the property tax. If there is rotten wood, paint peeling, problems with the foundation, or leaks in the roof a person needs to obtain an estimate for the repairs. They may be able to get their tax reduced based on this information.

Before entering the hearing all of the documents should be in place and any relevant information about the home should be documented and brought to the heating. A person should have their original appraisal and the revised version they feel is correct. Three new analyses of the home will need to be performed and have similar results for the organization to reduce the amount of taxes on the home. All of this information must be presented to them in writing.

As a homeowner, you are entitled to file a property tax grievance. If you are interested in learning more about the process or are interested in starting your tax reduction, contact our experts at P.T.R.C. today. Nassau: (516) 484-0654, Suffolk: (631) 484-0654

Thursday, January 23, 2020

What You Need to Know About STAR Changes

New York State has recently made quite a few changes to the School Tax Assessment Relief program. These changes may affect those who have recently purchased homes and have successfully paid taxes for the 2019-20 school year. If you fall into this category, you are not currently registered to receive STAR exemption or credits. Read on to learn more. 

Changes to Basic STAR and Enhanced STAR

If you have registered for Basic STAR, you will automatically be upgraded to Enhanced STAR following verification by the State of New York. You will need to verify:
  • Your identity
  • Your age
  • Your income

This eliminates the need to manually apply through the Nassau County Department of Assesment.

Persons who have not filed tax returns and are currently registered in the STAR program, the state of New York will send an income worksheet to be completed to assess and substantiate your household income to be eligible for Basic or Enhanced STAR.

While those homeowners that currently receive the Basic STAR exemption, that is interested in maintaining their credit status, must still apply for Enhanced STAR if they believe they qualify for the program.

Homeowners with an annual income between $250,000 and $500,000 will receive have the ability to stay exempt on property bills and they will receive a check from the State of New York. While there are no specific deadlines for registering with the STAR program, you should treat every update as a time-sensitive matter. Please check the website to see when you should be expecting your check if you qualify.

Here at P.T.R.C., Inc., we are determined to help our clients pay the lowest amount of property tax as required by law. Contact us today to see how we can help you:

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

Tax Strategies for the New Year

While you may not have the total amount your household will spend on taxes, you can prepare for them throughout the entire year. There are strategies that can save thousands of dollars and your time by preparing for your taxes year-round. These tips can work for both state and federal taxes.

Records Organization

Gather your previous year’s tax return, 1099s and W-2s for the current year, receipts, and anything else you need for tax time. This will save you the time of locating all of these documents. Using a checklist will help you to keep track of the items that you need to prepare your taxes. Take the time to find the correct forms to file your taxes.

Retirement Accounts

Fund your retirement account ahead of the tax filing deadline for traditional IRAs and Roth IRAs.

Estimated Tax Payment

Making an estimated payment by the 15th of January can help you to eliminate penalties from the fourth quarter. You will owe a penalty for other quarters if you have not sent estimated payments for them at the time.

Itemize Deductions

The standard deduction is easier to take but it is possible to save more money by itemizing your expenses if you own your home, have a high tax rate, or are self-employed. Charitable donations and mortgage interest are well-known deductions. Portions of medical expenses over 10 percent of adjusted gross income can also be deducted.

Home Office Deduction

Make sure to examine the home office deduction closely. The rules for eligibility have changed, so be sure to run through the necessary qualifications closely.

File on Time and Electronically

It is imperative that you file your taxes and pay any taxes owed on time in order to prevent penalization. Filing electronically can save you on processing time as well as getting any refunds issued up to a month earlier.

Monday, January 6, 2020

Home Renovation Trends for 2020

Home renovation is very cyclical and reactive, just like many other aspects of life. The home improvement projects that are in effect in 2020 will not be the same ones that are present from five years ago. Here are some of the biggest home improvement trends for 2020.

More Money for Projects

Our economy has been on a tear for several years and the economy is reaching full employment which is translating into larger home improvement projects. Further, loans with low-interest rates are more accessible than ever before and this is resulting in large scale projects, particularly in suburbs such as kitchen renovations, floor additions, and redone outdoor spaces.

Smart Homes

The internet is beginning to realize its smart home potential and more homes are being renovated with smart devices in mind. Smart devices are entering into our kitchens and appliances with smartphone-controlled timers, our heating and cooling systems with remote smart devices that let you optimize your heating and cooling, and smart security systems that allow for access away from home. More than minor tools, these smart home devices are being fully integrated and allow for remote and voice accessed tools that make the future fully accessible today.

Clean Air and Focus On the Environment

Home improvement looks to improve on the spaces in your home with advanced air and water purification kits, green recycling options, and integrated home efficiencies. Homeowners are increasingly concerned with these items and are great selling points for those who are looking to live cleaner.