Thursday, September 27, 2018

What is a Property Tax Grievance?



Long Island has some of the highest property taxes in the United States. Much of these property taxes are used to fund the local schools which can be a significant factor in determining the value of a home. This makes the higher property taxes that you pay someone of an investment in the desirability of your local community and a contributor to your home value. However, there are several different ways that you can reduce your property tax burden.

Make Sure You Apply for STAR 

The STAR credit is given to homeowners in Long Island and can lower your taxes. If you have never applied for the credit or have just bought your home, you will need to apply for the credit which is a quick and easy process. Spend some time reviewing your application for this credit and be sure to apply for STAR if you have not.

Manage Your Home and Property 

Certain home improvements can greatly increase the property taxes charged on your home. For example, a pool will greatly increase your property taxes as will any sort of home expansion. If you are looking to manage the property taxes that you pay, be sure to consider increases in your property taxes due to any major work that you have done on your home.

File a Property Tax Grievance 

While all homeowners will pay some portion of property taxes, the actual amount will range widely based on the size of your home. Sometimes, however, the amount charged is not equitably divided to the varying homes in any Long Island town and some homeowners spend more than is their fair share.

To address the risk for this, homeowner’s, or their representatives, can file a property tax grievance to lower their property tax share. A property tax grievance will commonly identify some adjust calculation of a home value and use a number of factors as evidence of this unjust allocation of the property tax burden including comparables to similar nearby homes, property assessments and valuations of a home by an appraiser, and a review of the home in the government database for inaccuracies.

A property tax grievance shouldn’t be filed by a homeowner without the help of a professional. Professionals like Property Tax Reduction Consultants (PTRC) have the available information to lobby for a tax reduction. They also have contacts to communicate the tax grievance and make sure the complaint is addressed quickly and hopefully in your favor. Contact PTRC on their website or at 516-484-0654 and lower your Long Island property tax bills.

Saturday, September 22, 2018

October Events in Long Island


Long Island is a beautiful place to be and for many, the fall months mean great opportunities for events that the whole family can enjoy. However, not everyone knows what there is to do or where they can find some of the most exciting events.

Because we know that families need to have some fun when not worrying about property taxes, we encourage you to learn about some of the events that are happening and how you can enjoy them. Here are some of the best things you can do in Long Island this October.

37th Annual Montauk Fall Family Festival


The 37th Annual Montauk Fall Family Festival will kick off on Saturday, October 6 from 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. at The Montauk Green with a wide array of things for you and your family to do. Enjoy live music, Long Island beers and wines, foods with an Oktoberfest theme, street painting, inflatable rides, and more.

There’s even a free 30-horse carousel and a Farmer’s market.

Haunted Hatchery


The Haunted Hatchery will take place on Saturday, October 27 from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium. The not-so-scary event welcomes all families ($6 for adults and $4 for kids) to come out and trick-or-treat through the Hatchery and Aquarium.

Long Island Fall Festival


Between October 5 and October 8, the Long Island Fall Festival will take place at Heckscher Park. This event is a true celebration of community spirit and offers four entertainment stages, a fully equipped carnival, arts and craft vendors, food and drinks, and more. Admission to the public is entirely free.

Scarecrow Competition


Going on throughout the entire month at the Stony Brook Village Center, there will be more than 30 scarecrows on display with individuals voting for their favorite! It’s 30+ different organizations coming together to create a display for the public.

Be sure to take full advantage of everything that Long Island has to offer and enjoy some of the events that will be taking place the month of October.




Friday, September 14, 2018

Last Minute Summer Things to Do!


Summer is coming to a close, which is a sad thing to accept. No one wants the long sunny days to ever end. The warm temperatures are going to slowly turn into cool breezes. It’s going to get darker outside sooner and before we all know it, the big holidays will all be here.


It’s not too late to grasp at the last remaining days of summertime fun! Don’t wait, use this list and check each of them off before summer of 2018 is gone forever!


Find a Local Swimming Spot


It may not be blistering hot outside as much as it was a few weeks ago, but going for a swim is still possible! Find a local pool, river, creek, and go for a swim. Stretch out in the water and wade through an afternoon with friends and family.


Take a Small Road Trip


There are places within a day’s drive of Long Island that you can make if you want. Mystic Seaport is only a couple hours away. A museum filled with extraordinary pieces of nautical artifacts, along with fine art, film, and video. Philadelphia is about an hour and 45-minute drive also. Visit local shops and get yourself a Philly cheesesteak. Take to the road and explore nearby treasures before the snow hits!


Go to a State Park


State parks surround the state of New York. With your road trip, perhaps visit a state park. Find a place to bike, hike, picnic, grab a camera and take photos, go swimming in a natural spring, if you’re into it go caving, geocaching, rock climbing, or stargazing.


Hit The Beach


If you can, brave the waters. It isn’t as hot as it once was outside, but the ocean awaits! Don’t forget the sunscreen, maybe go out and sunbathe for the day.  


Camping


Camping can be done in all seasons, but nothing beats a summer night camping experience. Sitting in the moonlight by a firepit is one of the best experiences ever. Feeling connected with nature is one of the most calming experiences to have. Decrease your stress and go camping for a few days.


Visit School Locations


Have any highschoolers? It’s time to go scouting for school locations! Take a trip to potential schools and go on some tours. Take a look around the campus or get a tour.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

All About Big Duck In Flanders


A popular roadside attraction is the Big Duck. This unique piece of architecture is in the shape of a duck, hence the name. 

About The Big Duck 

The Big Duck is was built in 1931 and can be found in Flanders, New York, which is located on Long Island. One of the most interesting facts about the attraction is it was built by an actual duck farmer by the name of Martin Maurer. 

The Big Duck was once a shop, where people could visit if they wanted to purchase duck eggs and ducks. In 1997, the Big Duck was added to the list of historic places on the National Registry of Historic Places. 

How Was It Built 

The people who were brought in to help build the Big Duck actually studied the carcass of a chicken because they wanted to get an idea of how to create a framework that would accurately resemble a duck. 

Once the wooden frame of the Duck was created, the builders attached to wire mesh to it and then cement was applied. The final step was painting it, as well as installing two taillights to the eyes. This allowed the Duck's eyes to glow once it became night. 

Later Years 

In 1986, the Big Duck was nearly close to becoming demolish, but it was moved to a different area. Eventually, the local government designated it as a town landmark. However, on 2007, the Big Duck was relocated back to its original location before being placed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

Now you know more about the Big Duck in Flanders. The next time you find yourself in Long Island, make sure you stop in Flanders to view the Big Duck in person. Don't forget to bring your camera because you'll want to snap a few photos of it.

Aquariums in Long Island


The Long Island Aquarium Exhibits

There is always something fun to do on Long Island. The shopping, restaurants, and attractions are some of the best in the world. There is excitement in the air, and it can be challenging to decide what to do first. Wrap up the summer with a trip to an aquarium.

The Long Island Aquarium and Exhibition Center

This is where the Coral Reef Exhibit can be found. This is a thirty-foot long coral reef display with 20,000 gallons of water. The natural reef ecosystem features a back reef, reef wall, terrace, and crest. Viewers will delight in the 800 varieties of marine life and fish including tangs, angelfish, sea urchins, wrasses, sea cucumbers, gobies, crabs, and snails. There are soft and stony corals, coralline algae and anemones. Natural aquatic behavior is showcased by the diversity and size of the reef.

The Sand Shark Lagoon appears as visitors cross the delightful wooden bridge. On one side are the North Shore's rock-strewn beaches and towering bluffs with the other side depicting the South Shore's salt marshes and rolling dunes. 

This exhibit features the same types of fish seen off Long Island's shores. Every fish in the exhibition was caught locally, usually in Shinnecock Bay or Peconic Bay. One of the most plentiful sharks on the United States Atlantic coast are the sand sharks. They are featured in this exhibit along with common Long Island fish including striped bass, clearnose skates, smooth dogfish sharks, fluke, weakfish, tarpon and a lot more.

The Koi Pond showcases the national fish of Japan, the Koi. These fish are prized for their vibrant markings and numerous colors. They grow up to three feet long, live approximately fifty years and live in cold waters. Their diet includes plant life, insects, worms, and shrimps. The Koi Pond has a variety of aquatic plants as well including water lilies, water hyacinth, papyrus, canna and water lettuce.

The Sea Lion Coliseum

It is challenging to meet the thirteen-year-old, 400 pound California sea lion named Java and not fall in love instantly. Every day visitors at the aquarium enjoy a spectacular fifteen-minute show. Java has some fantastic moves including using her incredible flexibility to touch her nose to her lower back, high five her trainer and boogey to the dance tunes. The Sea Lion Coliseum is an excellent way for a family to spend the afternoon.

We hope you enjoy yourself at the aquarium, let us know how it went! 


Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Historical Landmarks in Long Island

Over this summer, we’ve written about places to go visit, places to go eat, places to grab a donut or a bagel, we've even talked about places to relax with the family. School is almost back in session and we want to bring attention to some local historical landmarks that might pop up in class.



Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Located in Cold Spring Harbor, NY, this facility has provided some of the biggest discoveries in molecular biology. Cancer research and the discovery of the structure of DNA was first announced by the scientists from this location in 1953. CSH has been active for 128 years as of this year. They are still leading the studies and remaining the examples of discovery in biology.

Cold Spring Harbor Fish Hatchery & Aquarium

Nearby the CSH Laboratory is our next historical location. They say they have the “largest living collection of New York State freshwater reptiles, fishes, and amphibians.” Schools visit this location that shut their doors in 1982 as a hatchery but opened up once again as an education center. If you would be interested in visiting this center, learn more about them here.

Cradle of Aviation Museum

Located in Garden City, NY, for over 100 years has been home to all things air and spacecraft.  It hosts one of the most unique collections of aircraft around. This location hosts birthday parties, tours, it has a planetarium and a theater. There are over 30 hands-on exhibits and cockpits to climb into. Plan a trip to this place of aerospace history today.

Parrish Art Museum

This location is in Water Mill, NY. Samuel Longstreth Parrish went to Harvard and is where he got a taste for the Italian Renaissance. He began collecting art in the 1880’s. In the summer of 1897, a single exhibition hall was constructed. Sped up to today, the art collection lives in a new building that opened doors in 2012. Learn more about this location here.

Have any of you been to these locations? School trips? Family trips? Let us know on Facebook. We are curious to hear back.

Friday, August 10, 2018

The Amazing Breweries Of Long Island

Long Island Breweries 

Long Island is filled with microbrewery tasting rooms, nanobreweries, and sensational craft beer. Local restaurants have this beer on tap and the selection of breweries is consistently increasing. Some of the best breweries are detailed below with the compliments of P.T.R.C.



The Lithology Brewing Company 


The doors to the tasting room at this brewery have finally opened. Lithology considers microbrewing a sci+ence and uses only the best possible ingredients. Their Brown Ale was honored with the silver medal at the International Craft Beer Competition of 2016 in New York. Their additional offerings include a Belgian witbier, a savory vanilla porter, a flaked wheat summer ale and a dry-hopped pale ale.

The Flying Belgian Brewery 


This small facility produces the finest Belgian style beers and distributes to numerous restaurants on the island. There are always two beers being rotated including Illegally Blonde. This blonde Belgian beer is a classic with a darker hue. The rotation also includes a smooth honey ale called Salvation a la Mode. The brewery offers a wide selection of beers and is planning an expansion into Queens and Suffolk. P.T.R.C. is definitely aware of this sensational brewery.

The Black Forest Brew Haus 


The Black Forest Brew Haus is a German Style Brewery and opened their doors in 1999. They serve loaded potato pancakes, hot Bavarian pretzels, and stuffed dumplings but are known for the beer they brew on the premises. This includes German Marzen, Hefeweizen, the Cannonball IPA and the Belligerent Hipster IPA. This is where Long Island celebrates happy hour.

Garvies Point Brewery 


Garvies Point Brewery offers handcrafted brews made in small batches. The brewery produces in excess of 1,000 gallons of beer every month. This includes some complicated concoctions such as Belgian witbier, IPA's, double IPA's and a porter with coffee and chocolate notes. They have recently released the Wunderkind IPA and serve their beer in keg and draft form.

The Barrier Brewing Co. 


This is a microbrewery with a specialty of small batches. The brewery offers a wide variety of selections and their latest creations are available in the testing room. The motto of this brewery is it is about the quality and not the quantity. The Barrier Brewing Company was founded in 2007 and pours fifty different kinds of beer every year. The flagship brew is always changing because the batches are small. The most popular selections include Lights Out Stout, Barnacle Brown, Beech St. Wheat and Dunegrass DIPA.