05/17/15 8:00am
05/17/2015 8:00 AM

Anyone who builds a home addition or installs a swimming pool can reasonably expect their property assessment, which measures how much a house is worth and then taxes accordingly, to increase. But homeowners who think they’ve been unfairly charged have the option of filing a grievance with their town’s tax assessor’s office.

Just be sure to act quickly, because the deadline to file a grievance in New York State this year is Tuesday, May 19.

“Generally speaking, a lot of people don’t have a good impression of what their house is worth,” said Paul Henry, who has owned Tax Reduction Services in Greenport since 1990. In 2014, he said, the company helped more than 10,000 clients in Suffolk and Nassau counties file grievances in an effort to reduce their bills.

“What we do is find inequities,” Mr. Henry continued. “We look for properties that are being overvalued for the purpose of property taxes and then establish a value we think is more correct.”

(more…)

05/14/15 1:18pm
05/14/2015 1:18 PM
A rendering of the Peconic Crossing project planned for West Main Street. (Courtesy)

A rendering of the Peconic Crossing project planned for West Main Street. (Courtesy)

A five-story affordable housing project planned for along the Peconic River in downtown Riverhead has received $5.49 million in grants from New York State.

“This is huge; I can’t underscore that enough,” explained Marianne Garvin, the president and chief executive officer of the nonprofit Community Development Corporation of Long Island, which is teaming up on the West Main Street project with a Rochester-based, for-profit developer called Conifer Realty. “Without the financing, you can have a concept and a dream and an aspiration, but you don’t have the project being built.

“This gives us the financing and the ability to actually build what we’re dreaming about building.” (more…)

05/11/15 6:05am
05/11/2015 6:05 AM
Jack Weiskott, owner of Ornamental Plantings in Southold, said he’s noticed an increase in interest for deer-resistant plants over roughly the past decade. He’s holding the deer-resistant shrub Spiraea japonica. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

Jack Weiskott, owner of Ornamental Plantings in Southold, said he’s noticed an increase in interest for deer-resistant
plants over roughly the past decade. He’s holding the deer-resistant shrub Spiraea japonica. (Credit: Barbaraellen Koch)

“No plants are completely deer-proof,” according to literature published by the Cornell Cooperative Extension. “Hungry deer will consume plants that have little nutritional value.”

For many North Fork residents, that much has become obvious over the past decade as the deer population has exploded throughout the area. Many homeowners’ gardens and plants have been chewed and gnawed year in and year out, and while the deer problem isn’t new this spring by any means, it’s becoming more and more obvious that it’s here to stay.

Read tips from experts on northforker.com.