With the COVID-19 pandemic still out of control in 2021, many business owners are still struggling to keep their business profitable and their people employed during an unprecedented economic fallout. The hotel industry is one of the sectors that has been hit harder than others with declining revenue, lower occupancy, and higher costs of doing business. Although many hotels are in danger of losing their property to foreclosure, there is no suspension of their property tax payments. Many state and local governments maxed out their emergency services and aid programs in 2020. As their operating costs rose dramatically during the pandemic, those costs will be passed on to their business property taxpayers in the form of tax levy increases and rising tax rates. These tax torpedoes will hit capital-dependent businesses especially hard during the 2021 tax year.
Bedford has listened and is proud to profile one of our Alliance firms, JM Tax Advocates, who can advocate to protect owners against rising property taxes. We have learned that our clients are not as covered with their appeal providers as they think that they are, and in fact we find that 80% of the time our team has been able to find incremental savings of as much as 70% with hotel properties.
Here are some recent examples of situations where they stepped in after another provider gave our hotel operators a clean bill of health:
- Lowered hotel portfolio’s property taxes by over $1 million
- Identified and secured $880,000 for a hotel portfolio’s property taxes after transitioning advocacy from a previous provider
- Reduced an economy hotel’s real estate taxes by $330,000
- Secured a $340,000 refund for an extended stay hotel
- Achieved a tax savings of over $180,000 for a limited-service hotel
Because the dollars at stake could be great, especially with measuring the massive impact from COVID, the following is a list of questions each owner should ask of their provider to help assess properties that possibly need some help outside of your current provider scope:
- When was the last time a tax appeal was filed on each hotel?
- What was the savings results/scorecard by hotel property location over the past 3 years?
- Is there a pending appeal? If so, for what years and locations?
If you determine there has been little or no appeal results achieved in the past, it could be that the current provider has credentialing restrictions (i.e., Indiana certification requirement, Texas certification requirement, Tennessee certification, etc.) on practicing in a particular state or are unwilling to tackle some of the harder states to work (i.e., Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, etc.).
If you are concerned about your relationships with the local assessors, our team offers a professional approach during our appeals so our client can maintain their long-term standing in the community. Be assured that you will be in good stead with plenty of other hotels who are actively reviewing and challenging their property tax values. Reviewing and appealing any assessment errors makes good business sense and company stewardship. Not doing so puts owners in a tremendous competitive disadvantage with neighboring hotels and other commercial property owners who are actively protesting their values.
We are excited to help interpret what you find out, and more importantly help secure valuable savings to help maximize a comprehensive property tax savings program. The first step to taking advantage of this strategy is to determine the properties that need an extra look. Please contact us for a complimentary feasibility analysis.
Alliance Firm – Bedford Cost Segregation, LLC and JM Tax Advocates has launched this partnership to bring additional value to our clients to secure significant cash flow. The diverse team of experts with both firms can assure a customized solution to maximize benefits. Both firms are independent with a national platform. We are committed to excellence with commitment to key client-centered principles — integrity, outstanding service, highly qualified professionals, on time delivery, and client satisfaction.