|In these current, crazy times, many property owners are facing a rapidly changing economic situation with the potential for significant negative financial impact to their businesses. In an effort to provide some assistance, we interviewed Wes Nichols, Founder and Principal with Paramount Property Tax Appeal, who shares some helpful information about possibly delaying or reducing your property taxes.
RENTV: What are you doing to help property owners today?
Nichols: About two weeks ago, I started brainstorming with my staff and industry leaders on what we can do to help our clients and other small businesses. We came up with the idea that the Governor of California, Gavin Newsom, should request emergency legislation allowing property tax reassessments to reflect the diminution in property values resulting from the COVID-19 disease and declare this a disaster. This would allow businesses impacted by the health crisis to file property tax Calamity applications. This new type of calamity claim would be similar to claims filed for fire and earthquake damage to a property. However, it would be tailored for the current situation's economic damage, not physical damage.
RENTV: How would this work and who could apply?
Nichols: It is very early in the process, but the idea is that properties or businesses that can show a direct impact or loss in rent or revenue would qualify. For example, in the case of a hotel that typically has an 80% occupancy level, but for these two months it has only a 10% occupancy on average, the owner could file a calamity reassessment claim and the assessor would calculate the percentage of business loss or loss of value to the property.
RENTV: If property owners want to start the process what should they do?
Nichols: Again, we are in very early stages of this process. At this time we are recommending property owners do the following:
1. Keep good records of any loss of rent or business revenue.
2. If they are part of any trade association to contact them and have their political consultant contact us.
RENTV: Describe your company and the services you perform.
Nichols: We are a full-service property tax appeal agency providing everything from free initial consultations, filing property tax appeals, expert representation at the property tax hearings and ensuring our clients receive their refunds. We also consult on change in ownership, purchase price allocation, and estimation of new construction property tax estimates.
RENTV: What areas do you cover?
Nichols: We cover the entire state of California and western United States.
RENTV: Your company has represented tens of thousands of property tax appeals for all types of properties. What do you see as the priorities during this crisis and the foreseeable future?
Nichols: More so than ever, cash flow is critical to the financial well-being of property owners and the economy as a whole. One of the largest annual outlays for property owners is property taxes. With the significant impact this crisis is having and will most likely continue to have for a while, it is imperative taxes be adjusted appropriately so owners can maintain their properties and get the economy back on track as rapidly as possible.
RENTV: What has been your experience with various property types?
Nichols: Due to the diversity and abilities of our team, we handle all types of properties and also Business Personal Property, Tax Compliance and Possessory Interest Real Property Tax appeals.
RENTV: Why is it important to consider a property tax appeal?
Nichols: Significant dollars are at stake and could be lost. There are brief, limited times to file appeals. The opportunity is lost once the deadline passes.
RENTV: What are your staff’s capabilities and resource tools?
Nichols: Our staff is comprised of a select group of the most effective and respected tax agents in the state. We have a diverse team that includes a certified commercial appraiser, a former supervising county appraiser and senior real estate brokers. We also have access to some of the top legal counsels in the state that focus on property tax law.
RENTV: What distinguishes your company from other tax appeal agencies?
Nichols: We are passionate litigators who fight smart and hard to lower assessed values for our clients. Also, we go the extra mile and pay for and draft written findings of facts for our cases.
RENTV: What is your recommendation for property owners?
Nichols: If you feel you are being over assessed, then filing an appeal is the wise thing to do. Preservation of cash flow, particularly on this scale, is key to financial health. It can be a daunting and time-intensive task for most property owners to file appeals, research market data, and present a case in front of a tax appeal board when you are being challenged by all the county resources. Paramount Property Tax Appeal are experts at this process and we have prevailed in over 10,000 cases representing a wide range of clients from single-family homeowners to corporate giants. If you think you need help, call us. Even if you feel you can do it on your own, you can still call us for free advice.
WES NICHOLS is Founder & Owner, Paramount Property Tax Appeal, a consulting firm with a concentration in property and business tax reduction. Wes oversees all evaluations, operations and sales. He brings over a decade of work experience and entrepreneurship in business development, commercial real estate and property tax reduction fields. He provides a full-service solution with endless opportunities due to the number of properties that need to be appealed and reassessed. His company has grown from 2 to 12 employees in 5 years. PPTA covers CA, AZ, HI and NV. Since its inception, the firm has handled in excess of 10,000 appeals and has saved taxpayers in excess of $500 mil.
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