Author name: PVS Admin

chip-saam

Chip Saam

Chip Saam

Hello, I’m Chip Saam. I’ve been with Property Valuation Services for over 20 years. I’ve been involved in property tax for almost 35 years.  In my position as Technical Director/Personal Property Appraiser, I oversee the hospital team within our personal property tax department. In 1998, I received the CMI property tax designation from the Institute for Professionals in Taxation, and in 2008, I earned the ASA designation in Machinery & Technical Specialties from the American Society of Appraisers. It’s been a rewarding experience growing with PVS — from a company of 12 employees when I joined the firm to over 75 employees today. Our mission has never strayed from working in our client’s best interest to ensure that they are paying their fair share of property taxes – nothing more, nothing less. Within the personal property tax department, our goal is to work with our clients to file the most accurate return possible based on the best information available.

A typical filing season for the hospital team includes preparing and filing close to 4,000 business personal property tax returns. Our team of one director, two managers and four consultants are well versed in the different requirements of each jurisdiction across the country that taxes business personal property. As we prepare returns, we review asset listings, general ledgers, location listings and leases to identify any opportunities to save our clients tax dollars. All returns are prepared using a software program we have developed with an outside programmer over the last 20 years. Each year we make modifications to the program to account for changes in property tax laws and statutes.

After returns are prepared and submitted, we begin the process of tracking values and reviewing accounts that may require appeals. Our software system tracks appeal deadlines to help manage the process. We make every attempt to resolve any value differences with assessor’s office informally. If we are unable to resolve our differences, the formal appeal process is started. We include our clients in this decision-making process as it may impact their image and standing in their local community. If we are unable to resolve value differences at this level, a cost benefit analysis is performed with the client to determine if litigation is warranted.

After the value collection and appeal periods of the property tax cycle are completed, we move into the tax bill collection and approval phase. Ideally, clients will allow the mailing address for tax bills to be changed so that they come directly to the PVS Corporate Office. This allows for quicker review and transmittal of a tax bill approval.  Except for extreme cases, we forward tax bill approvals to clients at least 14 days prior to the due date to allow for timely payments of taxes.

Reports provided throughout the year include a mid-year report to help clients with the review of their property tax accruals, a property tax budget report for the subsequent year for clients that request assistance with their budgeting process and a year-end report in late-December or early-January.

Throughout the year, we help clients with property tax estimates for new or acquired locations or major equipment purchases. Additionally, asset cleanup projects may be performed in the fall to identify assets that may no longer be physically located at a facility but have not been taken as disposals on the books and records. This can result in tax savings that accumulate through all following years.

One of the big issues to consider for the 2021 filing season will be the impact of COVID-19 and how the pandemic has affected the fair market value of equipment. Fair market value is generally defined as an opinion expressed in terms of money, at which the property would change hands between a willing buyer and a willing seller, neither being under any compulsion to buy or sell and both having reasonable knowledge of relevant facts, as of a specific date. For real estate, which is often valued and assessed based on income, the answer is much clearer.

The loss of tenants, reductions in rental income and the reduced need for leased commercial real estate have all had an impact on real estate values. For equipment, the impact is not as clear as it typically is valued by placing the cost of the equipment on an assessor’s depreciation schedule, which is often mandated by the state. Also, since by definition, tangible personal property is movable, equipment, in theory, could be transferred to another location that is not being impacted by the pandemic. In some cases, such as durable medical equipment, there may be an argument that the equipment is suffering from more wear and tear due to increased usage and, therefore, the fair market value has decreased faster than under normal market conditions. On the other hand, an industry such as dine-in food service, may see a decline in their equipment fair market value due to the increase in equipment for sale in the secondary market due to so many restaurants closing.

In any case, a request for additional depreciation on equipment due to the pandemic will need to be supported by data and research. A lot remains to be seen on this front. Rest assured that PVS will be keeping an eye on any changes in the assessment of equipment across the country.

Should you have any questions or needs related to personal property tax, please feel free to reach out at any time. Thank you for your continued support.

Within the personal property tax department, our goal is to work with our clients to file the most accurate return possible based on the best information available.

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Pamela Carley

Pamela Carley

Hello, my name is Pamela Carley.  I am pleased to report that I just wrapped up my 21st  tax season with Property Valuation Services (PVS).  I began working with PVS shortly after the doors opened.  I have held multiple positions within the organization and have gained valuable experience from each job.  As such, I am now teaching and spreading my knowledge to my current team.  Our team of employees works hard throughout the year to benefit our clients and achieve the best possible result! 

My department currently manages the review and filing of all business personal property tax returns at PVS.  This is a large task as we filed over 14,000 returns in 34 states dealing with over 1,600 individual taxing jurisdictions this 2020 tax year.  Our department consists of myself, three managers, two team leads, and fourteen consultants.  To process such a large volume of tax returns, PVS has developed a valuable proprietary tracking system titled (PVSpts).  This system is a critical tool for our internal function and provides valuable data access to our clients through web access. This system is continually updated to maximize process efficiency. 

This year my team had many challenges to overcome, as did many other companies, due to COVID-19.  Our department has been extremely successful in meeting these challenges by providing remote access to each employee. Moreover, as we had already allowed our employees to utilize remote access before the pandemic, this change was quite painless.  Additionally, we were able to make the necessary modifications in PVSpts to account for the needed changes, and all returns have been filed and reviewed without incident.  Each team member really stepped up and all return deadlines were met without compromising employee safety!  

Our personal property tax filing season is quickly coming to a close for the 2020 year.  Consequently, we have transitioned to tracking all proposed assessed values to ensure the proposed assessments reflect the values we requested on our recently filed tax returns.  As this process can become quite intricate and is extremely time sensitive, PVS has created a dedicated team titled the Property Tax Support Group (PTSG) which is dedicated solely to securing data on these valuations.  With PTSG’s support in gathering this data, my team has been able to operate more efficiently by focusing on valuation work. 

In a perfect world, all issued valuations would reflect our requested valuations. However, in practice, many issued valuations must be negotiated by our office to move towards our requested assessment.   This negotiation process takes several months as I assist my team in reviewing each proposed assessment and potential appeal.  Our office contacts each jurisdiction to obtain detailed working papers which reflect the assessor’s method of valuation. We analyze each account in detail to the individual asset to identify deviations.  Each assessor is contacted to discuss these differences, and in the vast majority of cases, a negotiated settlement is achieved. 

Some situations require that appeal(s) be filed to achieve our desired assessment.  Our office works extensively with each assessor to resolve things without an appeal; however, should an appeal be warranted, PVS is fully equipped to manage the process.  Filing an appeal is a complicated process, as each state, county, and taxing jurisdiction has differing processes for appeal.  As such, the appeal phase of the tax cycle takes the remainder of the year.

Over these 21 years, I have worked with the vast majority of our clients.  It has always been the mission of PVS to work in the best interest of our clients.  I truly value this mission and appreciate the atmosphere it creates.  I have enjoyed this experience and am looking forward to many more years with PVS.  

Should you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any member of PVS as we are always here to answer your questions.  Thank you for your continued support. 

My department currently manages the review and filing of all business personal property tax returns at PVS. This is a large task as we filed over 14,000 returns in 34 states dealing with over 1,600 individual taxing jurisdictions this 2020 tax year.

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Vanessa White

Vanessa White

Greetings, my name is Vanessa White. I have been with Property Valuation Services (PVS) for fifteen years, and I’m preparing for my sixteenth tax season. When I started at PVS, we had less than twenty employees, and we worked about 8,000 parcels. As of today, we have 71 employees, and we are working approximately 36,000 parcels. Initially, PVS hired me to fill the Office Manager position, but as the business grew and the number of employees increased, I saw the need for a dedicated HR professional. In 2012 I received my first HR designation, Professional in Human Resources (PHR), and in 2015 I received my second HR designation, Society for Human Resource Management Certified Professional (SHRM-CP). Growing with PVS has provided me with a solid understanding of all aspects of the business that allows me to utilize my HR knowledge to benefit PVS, which ultimately benefits our clients. 

As an HR Director, I’m responsible for providing guidance to Management on employment best practices, resolving employee issues, and HR law compliance. This year I’ve added another skill to my wheelhouse, understanding the ever-changing world of COVID-19 and what I can do to keep employees safe to ensure we meet the business needs. 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone, but as I reflect on everything that went well this year and look ahead to preparing for the 2021 tax season, I’m proud of how our Management and employees have successfully navigated this difficult period. 

In January, I saw the potential for a lockdown, so I took my concerns to our Senior Management. We started assessing our ability to transition our offices to work remotely from a technology standpoint, purchase needed supplies, and create remote work policies. Most of our offices, especially all essential staff, already had access to work remotely. Still, our IT support used the advanced notice to prepare support employees to work remotely too. Weeks before the country started lockdown orders, we tested our systems by asking all employees to work remotely for a day. Because we were able to test our systems in advance, we were confident that our business would continue as usual when the state mandated lockdowns occurred. 

We only allowed three essential employees into the office to manage incoming and outgoing mail during the state mandated lockdowns, which coincided with the businesses part of our tax season. Although we qualified as an essential business, we used an abundance of caution to limit employee’s exposure while all the health experts tried to figure out how to manage the virus’ spread. After the bulk of the personal property tax return deadlines were complete and we had a better understanding of how to protect employees, we gave all employees the option of returning to the offices if they followed strict COVID protection policies. Currently, we have seventeen employees who have elected to return to the corporate office. While we strive to do what is best to keep employees safe from the virus, we felt it was important for our employees’ mental health to give employees the choice to return to the office. 

As we have learned more about the pandemic, we have safeguards to protect employees and ensure we can meet our business needs for the upcoming 2021 tax season. We have compartmentalized our corporate office to limit the number of employees in contact with other employees, so only nine people can be exposed in a section. Everyone in all our offices are required to wear masks. Any item that is touched by multiple people (i.e. physical returns) are handled with gloves. We have disinfectant cleaner and hand sanitizer stations all around the offices. We have social distance and other reminder signs posted around the building. We frequently email employees to remind them of our COVID employee protection policies and update them on the latest CDC information. We have back-up teams comprised of remote workers cross-trained to handle essential tasks, including a team that can replace the three essential employees physically in the office if necessary. We have put every reasonable safety measure in place to keep our employees safe and ensure our clients receive uninterrupted service. 

The measures we have taken to protect employees have resulted in no transmission inside any of our offices. We have five employees that have contracted COVID, but luckily only two employees have physically been in an office. After each positive test result, we had the offices professionally sanitized. We sent all exposed employees home to work, and the employee with the positive test and all exposed employees must receive a negative test result before they can return.

While we all eagerly await an end to this pandemic, I’m confident that PVS will continue with business as usual. Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me or any PVS member. Thank you for your continued support. 

As an HR Director, I’m responsible for providing guidance to Management on employment best practices, resolving employee issues, and HR law compliance.

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Gerhart Van Note

Gerhart Van Note

My name is Gerhart Van Note and I am the Senior Director of Real Estate for Property Valuation Services and oversee the entire real estate tax department. I started with the company in January of 2006 and 2021 will take me into my 16th year. We have grown from a department of three to fifteen highly qualified, motivated real estate tax professionals! The department consists of MAI’s licensed appraisers, licensed real estate agents and CMI’s – just to name a few! These professionals are qualified to handle any property type in any jurisdiction.

In fact, our client base has grown from just over 40 to over 800+ in the last 15 years. Our real estate parcel count has grown from 4,600 to currently 16,600. We have seen tremendous growth and we owe it all to you, our clients! 

In the next few weeks, we will be sending out property information requests to you via email so we may begin our value analysis for 2021. With most lien dates around the country set in early 2021, we anticipate filing a large number of appeals in the next few months due to the pandemic of 2020. COVID-19 has wreaked havoc not only on the people of the world but has affected nearly all commercial and residential real estate properties. We are currently reviewing and gathering market data to help support our appeals that will occur later in the year. I have worked with most of our clients over the years and if you should have any questions or would like to discuss your property(s) in more detail, please feel free to reach out to me personally or anyone in the real estate department.

It has always been the mission of PVS to work in the best interest of our clients. We truly value this mission and appreciate the atmosphere it creates. We view our team as an extension of your company and will always do what is in your best interest. To our current clients, thank you for allowing us to look after your property tax needs and we welcome the opportunity to serve any future clients in the same capacity. 

We have grown from a department of three to fifteen highly qualified, motivated real estate tax professionals! The department consists of MAI’s licensed appraisers, licensed real estate agents and CMI’s – just to name a few!

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Bryan Hileman

Bryan Hileman

I’m excited to introduce myself and some of the wonderful things going on at Property Valuation Services that I have the privilege of being a part of. My name is Bryan Hileman, I am the director of Sales here at PVS. I started working here more than twelve years ago cold calling business owners to relay the unparalleled benefits and savings we can provide.  

 

Over the past twelve years, I have worked with some of the largest healthcare companies in the country, been a part of our transition to working with all commercial real estate property types in all 50 states, worked with our Personal Property department to save a movie theater joint venture over $4M in property taxes on their projectors and worked with the owners of PVS to start an affiliate sales and use tax consulting firm named State and Local Tax Solutions. SALT Solutions works with major national hospital corporations, surgical companies and laboratory organizations. We use our expertise in both sales tax statutes and health care services, products and uses to identify creative new exemptions in order to file and achieve significant sales tax refunds dating back three to four years. We have secured numerous claims for our clients of six and seven figures. 

 

Years ago, under the direction of our ownership and the leadership of our vice president, we decided to remodel our sales department with the goal of reaching more real estate owners and business leaders. This was in an attempt to educate them on our unique and proprietary reduction methodologies. We formulated a multi-tiered sales department including a call center staffed with talented lead generators to research and call more than 600 prospects a week each and transition as many of those phone calls to our more experienced account executives. These AEs work closely with our Real Estate and Personal Property directors to send out a proposal for signature so that we can start including those companies in our portfolio of valuable clients and, of course, save them a lot of money. 

 

My role at PVS is to oversee our entire sales department, including three account executives, eight lead generators and one manager. This management entails strategic planning of geographic and industry-specific targeted prospects, which are thoroughly analyzed alongside our Real Estate and Personal Property directors. This helps us take into account prior successes and anticipated changes that would most benefit potential clients. I’m also responsible for the evaluation and implementation of lists for our lead generators based on the aforementioned analysis, along with the management of our internally developed CRM sales system where we monitor all of these prospects. I additionally enjoy being included in conversations with top prospective clientele, the involvement in the negotiation of contract terms with those who are interested in partnering with PVS and collaborating with other departments to better our sales efforts. Considering a large portion of my day also includes sales and operations of our affiliate company SALT Solutions, to which I am honored to now be a partner. My work is always exciting and varies from day to day. 

 

COVID-19 presented most companies with difficult challenges. Lost revenue has created hardships no one saw coming and unfortunately, property taxes went up in most areas in 2020.  2021 revaluations are the first opportunity we have to make the justified reductions in order to try and alleviate some of the financial burdens facing our clients. Having an expert perform their own valuation and appeal is vital in what will be the most important appeals in decades. It feels great to be a part of a company whose purpose is to look out for those who need us.  

 

I look forward to seeing our portfolio continue to grow by hundreds of clients each year, further developing our sales department as we strive to find creative and persuasive people to include in our PVS family and be a part of an amazing company for decades to come.

We use our expertise in both sales tax statutes and health care services, products and uses to identify creative new exemptions in order to file and achieve significant sales tax refunds dating back three to four years.

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Tom Tapko

Tom Tapko

Hello. My name is Tom Tapko. I am currently a team lead and a part of the hospital team for our personal property department. I began with PVS in 2007 as a property tax consultant and quickly learned that I enjoyed the large scale and complexity of filing personal property tax returns for hospitals.

 

In 2013, I was promoted to team lead for the hospital team. As team lead, I am tasked with assisting  Technical Director Chip Saam with the day-to-day management of the team. This also includes on-going training with the property tax consultants, attending appeal hearings, site visits and audits.

 

During these summer months, we spend a lot of our time collecting values from the jurisdictions and reconciling any value discrepancies against the returns that were filed to identify issues that may require additional action. Our goal at PVS has always been to ensure that our clients only pay their fair share in taxes.  

 

I appreciate working for a company that values both its clients and employees. For as long as I have been at PVS, we have always been looking to the future for ways to improve efficiency and results.

 

I look forward to hearing from any clients, current and prospective, with questions that you may have. 

During these summer months, we spend a lot of our time collecting values from the jurisdictions and reconciling any value discrepancies against the returns that were filed to identify issues that may require additional action.

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Jennifer English

Jennifer English

Hello everyone! My name is Jennifer English, and I am the manager of the business personal property dialysis accounts here at PVS. Last month I celebrated my 15-year anniversary of being with PVS. In my 15 years, I have mainly focused on dialysis accounts but have spent a couple of tax seasons helping with hospital returns.

 

As manager of the dialysis accounts, I not only correspond with all the clients but I also oversee a team of six consultants that handle the day-to-day tasks. During the 2021 tax season, my team filed several thousand dialysis returns. Right now, we are still working on collecting values and working with assessors when assessments come back incorrect. Most of the time, we are able to get any issues corrected informally with a phone call or e-mail to an assessor but at times do have to file formal appeals.

 

I am very fortunate to be able to work in a field that I have always enjoyed. Not only have I been lucky enough to associate with a great group of supportive coworkers, I’ve also had the pleasure of working with many clients and building great relationships with them over the years. Working with all of you to ensure your personal property tax needs are met makes my job fulfilling to me.

 

Please feel free to reach out with any questions you may have. Thank you for trusting PVS with your property tax needs!

As manager of the dialysis accounts, I not only correspond with all the clients but I also oversee a team of six consultants that handle the day-to-day tasks.

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Joe Knehans

Joe Knehans

My name is Joe Knehans and I am a supervisor in the Business Personal Property department at Property Valuation Services. In November, I will be celebrating my 14th anniversary working at PVS. In my 14 years here, I have overcome challenges and discovered my passion for this line of work which makes my job worthwhile. 

As a supervisor, I am second in charge of a team of consultants that oversees approximately 7k accounts. My team is known as the Dialysis Team, as our clients are among the biggest companies operating dialysis clinics with many locations throughout the country.

Jennifer English is the manager of the dialysis team. We have a great working relationship. We count on each other and lean on our respective strong points to ensure success. Our team of consultants oversees all compliance aspects of our clients’ property tax portfolios. We manage the preparation and filing of the annual business personal property tax returns, as well as the analysis of the valuation issued by the tax assessor. We oversee the appeals process on valuation disagreements with the tax assessor, including attending local board hearings, when merited. Our team also handles personal property tax audit work for our clients. Our goal is to ensure compliance across our accounts, while also working to achieve the lowest possible taxes for our clients.

Our team has a lot of accounts and with that comes a potential for multiple audits. One of my responsibilities is to take the lead on the audit process for our team. Recently, we have received a substantial amount of audit notifications. This appears to be in response to audits being shut down during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of an audit is for the assessor to ensure they have correctly assessed personal property associated with a business. PVS makes sure that the assessor has all the accurate financial information and that any additional assessments resulting from an audit are correct and fair. We intend for audits to be completed with as little additional taxes as possible.

PVS has been a great place to work to build a career in property tax. I find that my ideas and knowledge are welcomed and even sought out in some cases. The company wants to hear from the people that have proven themselves. I started out with minimal knowledge of how business personal property taxes work. I have learned much over my years at PVS that I think it is fair to say I have expertise in the field.

Hobbies I enjoy include reading books (usually science fiction), playing video games or working on jigsaw puzzles. A lot of my free time is spent watching sports, usually with family or friends. Baseball is my favorite sport and I usually get to a good amount of Kansas City Royals games each summer. I like to attend the games with bobblehead giveaways and have amassed a large collection. My family also has season tickets to Missouri Tigers football games, but unfortunately the team isn’t doing so well this fall.

Should you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me or anyone in our personal property department. We always like to hear from our clients! 

Our team of consultants oversee all compliance aspects of our clients’ property tax portfolios. We manage the preparation and filing of the annual business personal property tax returns, as well as the analysis of the valuation issued by the tax assessor.

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Doug Geer

Doug Geer

My name is Doug Geer, and I am a team lead for the hospital team in the business personal property department at Property Valuation Services (PVS). Last May, I surpassed my 10th year working at PVS. I am currently a licensed personal property tax consultant in the State of Texas. I enjoy the property tax work that I’ve done here at PVS, as well as spreading the knowledge and expertise I’ve acquired over the last ten years to the consultants on the hospital team and the other teams in the personal property department.  

 

The hospital team has various clients across the country. We file over 200 hospital personal property tax returns annually and the returns for the clinics and other ancillary locations related to the hospitals. My role at PVS is to train consultants to file the annual personal property tax filings and review them to file a compliant return while also looking for opportunities to reduce the taxable value of our client’s equipment. I also assist consultants with questions and issues that may arise during the tax cycle, including reviewing valuations issued by the assessor, advising the consultants to resolve any discrepancies informally with the assessor and potentially filing an appeal if we’re unable to reach an agreement with the assessor. I also have some experience attending board hearings. Our Property Tax Support Group handles most of the last part of the property tax cycle, collecting and reviewing the tax bills. However, I also assist consultants with any issues that may arise with the property tax bills if it’s outside the scope of our support group and ensure the contacts we send the tax bills to are still accurate.

 

Additionally, I review reports with tax estimates we send to our clients periodically throughout the year. These reports also provide tax estimates for the upcoming year to assist our clients in setting their budgets. I’ve also recently started working on audits for some of our hospital clients.  

I appreciate the knowledge, skills and opportunities that PVS has provided, which have contributed to my professional growth. I’ve enjoyed the relationships I’ve formed with my colleagues here at PVS and our clients and the various assessors across the country.  

 

Outside of work, I like to stay active. I play basketball, baseball, football and tennis. I also enjoy spending time with family and friends. When I’m not doing something active, I like to relax and watch TV.  

 

Should you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me or anyone in our property tax department. We always like to hear from our clients!

The hospital team has various clients across the country. We file over 200 hospital personal property tax returns annually and the returns for the clinics and other ancillary locations related to the hospitals.

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James Lee

James Lee

My name is James Lee and I am a manager in the real estate department at Property Valuation Services. My journey at PVS began back in May of 2014 and I’m currently in my eighth year. I am licensed as a property tax consultant in multiple states. 

 

My day-to-day tasks primarily involve regular communication with clients regarding property tax projections for their real estate portfolios and management of ongoing assessment protests. I also work with our real estate directors to assist our team of consultants on tax bill reviews, tax estimate projects and assessment appeals.

 

Most states have started to issue their 2021 tax bills, so our department’s daily tasks this time of year have shifted to reviewing tax bills for payment approvals and updating parcel records for 2022 projections. We also begin to send out requests for information in the coming weeks in anticipation of next year’s value reviews, so keep an eye out for our emails!

 

I started reviewing the valuations of agricultural properties, offices and apartments back in 2014. Over the next couple of years, my portfolio shifted toward primarily medical real estate valuations. I’ve seen everything from grain elevators to hospitals across my desk since I first arrived at PVS. This variety of complex valuation problems to solve continues to broaden our real estate team’s expertise and strengthen our positions when supporting our valuation conclusions during assessment protests.

 

I enjoy getting into the occasional healthy debate with an assessor during an assessment protest, but I must admit that my demeanor turns more competitive when it comes to debating sports. I am a diehard Chiefs fan, and I will relish the next two decades of the Patrick Mahomes era. Kansas City has always been my hometown and I went to Mizzou for my undergraduate degree in Finance. I recently got married, and my wife and I have a labrador who thinks he’s a lapdog. My hobbies include tennis, camping, golf and exploring Kansas City’s rapidly expanding downtown. We also love to travel!

 

The real estate financial sector experiences constant volatility, but property taxes are here to stay. It has always been rewarding helping our clients navigate these market challenges to stabilize annual property tax projections. We work as a team here at PVS and we are always just a quick phone call away if you have any questions regarding your real or business personal property taxes. 

My day-to-day tasks primarily involve regular communication with clients regarding property tax projections for their real estate portfolios and management of ongoing assessment protests.

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