Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Guest Lecturer at the FIU Business School

Our own Barry Sharpe with the Property Tax Appeal Group (PTAG) was able to once again be a guest lecturer at the FIU Graduate School of Real Estate.  As a guest of Professor Hollander, he gave the students an insight in to the work of property tax appeals. 

Professor Hollander's class focuses on Real Estate and Mr. Sharpe has been guest lecturing for the past three years at her request. 

During the course of the class earlier this week, Mr. Sharpe was able to offer his insight and humor in the world of property tax appeals.  While the subject may seem boring to many, he loves what he does and is able to explain why the topic is interesting. 

Many of the students had questions answered and left with a new subject to think about. 

Friday, October 13, 2017

PrivĂ©’s (Aventura, FL residential high rise) sidewalk, built through homeowners’ properties, is illegal

WOW. Prive development in Aventura, FL, that is close to completion on their residential high rise just lost their entire permit over a sidewalk. The lowest prive unit is a few million dollars so this will make a significant impact.  
Long story short. In order to build they agreed to install a sidewalk to connect the island to the mainland.  The problem is that home owners on the where the sidewalk would have to be installed said no.  The other island consists of multi million dollar homes that bought with the knowledge that the second island would be built out in the same manner.  There was never to be a high-rise.  
Developers used a utility easement to install the sidewalk which was a condition on the permit being issued.  A large legal battle with high powered attorneys filing suit and counter suits went on for a while.  The building was topped off and is nearing completion.  

Judge William Thomas just invalidated BH3’s  two-tower, 160-unit permit by finding the sidewalk was illegal. 
The building is almost 75 percent sold with more than $350 million under contract.  We imagine their will be some new lawsuits coming fairly quickly and possible a lot of money changing hands to buy the homeowners land for the sidewalks.  If the developers buy the land for the sidewalk, it will most likely break records for highest price per square foot.  Depending o nthe development contracts, they could have a legal clause that protects the developers as well so who knows what the next step will be.  

The full Miami Herald story:
For property tax assistance, please contact us at: 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Hurricane Irma...Take ALL preparations to protect yourself then property.

As everyone knows, Hurricane Irma is going to have a significant impact on South Florida and throughout the state.  At least 25% of South Florida residents today did not live here in 1992 for Hurricane Andrew.

We can not stress this enough, you must prepare.  Even if we do not receive a direct hit (which there is a strong chance that we will) we will be engulfed inside the path of destruction.

9/6/2017 - 12:00PM

The priority is to protect life.   Property can always be rebuilt.

While we are sure you have read all the information you could have in order to prepare for this storm, please keep in mind the future and what to do after the storm.  *Do not use a BBQ or generator indoors.

The following advice will help with insurance claims and your property tax appeal.

1.Photograph everything:  This means your vehicle, the exterior of your home/apt., interior of your home/apt, important documents, anything you can think of that is of value to you.  Event take photos of things that you don not believe need to be made a record of.  Photograph your ceiling showing that you have no leaks.

2. Take video: Walk slowly around the property.  Film as much as you can.  It may come in handy should you have missed photographing something, you will be able to get a screen shot.

3. Back it all up:  Hopefully to a cloud (applegoogle, dropbox, box...) If nothing else keep on your phone and or a flash drive you can put in a zip lock bag.

4. Evacuate or find your safe zone:  Hope for the best and stay safe.  *Do not use a BBQ or generator indoors, ever.

5. Repeat steps 1 & 2: Assuming you have damage.  This way you will be able to document the before and after.

6. Salvage what you can:  Please remember that may trees may have fallen down but do not simply cut them up.  There is a chance they can be saved by replanting.

9/6/2017 - 12:00PM
Please remember to take care of your self, friends, and family.  After that, if you are able to, help your neighbors.  We are all going through this and we need each other to rebuild.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Lower Property Taxes are Silver Lining for Landlords in Weak Retail Market

In April, the Indiana Supreme Court handed Kohl's Corp. a victory when it agreed not to review a lowered property assessment that was awarded to one of Kohl's stores because of the growing vacancy and dropping values of other shopping centers in its area.
This gave Kohl's a refund of $219,000 as a result of the worsening retail real estate landscape for their County, as well as other local governments throughout the country.
But property owners and retailers say lower tax bills, which are a large part of operating costs, will help to keep them in business. "This is one of the ways to lower operating costs and the new owner would then be able to negotiate better deals with tenants and keep them in the mall," said Thomas Dobrowski, executive managing director of capital markets at real-estate services firm Newmark Knight Frank.
More retail landlords are defaulting on loans than owners of other property types. In the first seven months of 2017, the loan balances of these defaulted mortgages increased roughly 20% to $1.34 billion, according to data from Trepp Inc.
Buyers of struggling malls that pay low prices often quickly pursue a reassessment of the property based to lower the tax bill. Assessors say more store owners and mall landlords are lodging appeals for a lower assessed valuation for their shopping centers and malls.
"There's a cottage group of people who do nothing but appeal tax assessments. They're tax agents, and their job is to look for loopholes to get property taxes lower," said Tim Wilmath, chief appraiser at the Palm Beach County Property Appraiser's Office. "I've heard lots of reasons why taxes have to be lower due to e-commerce."
Property-tax bills are some shopping center owners' biggest expense, outpacing salaries and rents. "There's a lot of activity in the appeals space. There's a lot of value in doing that," said Tim Trifilo, a partner in the tax practice of CohnReznick LLP, an accounting, tax and advisory firm.
Some landlords appealing their assessments point to the declining amount of sales taxes being generated by their stores. Others cite market conditions in the region, such as sales prices of vacated stores.
Some battles over tax assessment focus on what is known as the "dark store" method of analyzing value. According to this method, even if a shopping center has solid tenancy and cash flow, its value is affected by low vacancy and store closings in the surrounding area.
For the full story:
For Property tax appeal assistance: 

Monday, August 28, 2017

Your property may be losing value due to community improvements.

Do you or your tenants have to drive on a dirt road to get to your property?  Are you maneuvering around backhoes and/or orange cones?  Has the County or City told you how your property will be better off once the new infrastructure is in place?

If so, you should be able to get some property tax relief.  While once completed your property value should go up, the property does not currently have that value.  In fact it has been devalued.  In some cases, significantly devalued. 

The County reassesses the property as of January first of the tax year.  Even the plans for the redevelopment could act at the trigger for the property being devalued.  The tax year is the key, while construction may be two months or five years, it is irrelevant.  How much of a problem will occur for the property during that time frame?  If you wanted to sell the property, how much of a discount would you have to put on it due to the construction or would anyone want to buy it?

Flagler Street (Miami Herald story) is currently being beautified and it will be a much needed improvement.  The problem is the building owners and tenants that are trying to operate.  The project is a year and a half into construction and there is no end in sight. 

Customers do not want to deal with the inconvenience of visiting these businesses.  Property owners are left with the option or evicting the tenants or giving a rental discount.  Regardless of the final decision, the property has been devalued. 

We feel for everyone affected by these issues and wish them the best.  While you are suffering through these issues, we will do all we can to help you get a reduction in your property taxes.  Please contact us at

Friday, August 25, 2017

Educating the public. You can do it!

We at pTag: Property Tax Appeal Group want what is best for property owners.  No home, property, or land should be improperly assessed.  As such we are more than happy to provide a class on property tax appeals.

While we of course would love to represent you in appealing your assessed value, we understand some may like to appeal for themselves or to be educated on the process before hiring a company to represent them.
Barry Sharpe

We have been able to speak before large and small groups ranging from the Miami Realtors Association, Gibraltar Bank, Sabadell Bank (now Iberia bank), Self Storage associations, various Real Estate brokerages, Latin Builders Association, CIASF, FIU College of Business, and many more

Brian Sharpe (Miami Realtors)

We at pTag love what we do and enjoy compiling the information needed to assist in obtaining a property tax reduction for out clients.

FIU College of Business

If you would like to know some more information, please contact us at

Know your rights, you are able to appeal the counties valuation and they will not raise your rates if you loose.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Will future warehouses be underwater or in the air? Wal-Mart and Amazon have filed Patents.

Brian Sharpe

What will happen to the industrial market in the coming future.  It is looking like it may go the way of the Jetsons.  (ABC just ordered a live-action reboot of the Jetsons)  While Amazon has previously filed patents for aerial warehouses as well as undersea warehouse, Wal-Mart has just filed for aerial warehousing as well.

The most recent patent application from Wal-Mart will have them flying blimps between 500 &  1,000 feet above and operated autonomously or by a human.  There would be multiple launching bays and drones would fly in, pick up products and fly out.  They deliver products directly to shoppers.

Last year Amazon filed for a similar patent where they would fly at 45,000 feet a airborne fulfillment center or AFC.  Recently they filed a patent for underwater warehousing.  The package gets dropped from the air, parachutes down to the water, and then sinks to the desired level based on density.  When the item is to be delivered, a coded acoustic tone activates a balloon which floats the item to the surface.  Then a drone of employee can retrieve the item.

While it remains to be seen if this science fiction becomes reality you have to admit these companies are thinking outside the box.  As Mark Twain once said "Buy land, they're not making it any more."  Well, the earth is 71% at various depth and airspace...that could be limitless.  In the future, Amazon my launch their Blue Origins rocket into space, store items there to be delivered to their floating AFC's or land in an Ocean warehouse.

These could be game changers for industrial properties, logistic companies, and more.  Who needs to store items in a retail location when you can place your order in the store and before you arrive home the item is dropped from space, picked up from the ocean by drone and left on your doorstep.

Don't wait until 2025 when your industrial property may be devalued.  Let us hep you appeal all property values today so you are assessed properly.