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Real Estate

County Assessors often lag in responding to downturns in the market or miss property specific issues from mass appraisal techniques. Annual reviews of your portfolio’s assessments are necessary to ensure you are not paying more than your fair share. With many jurisdictions changing property tax laws and appeal deadlines ever present, Complex PTS offers our real estate valuation and jurisdictional expertise to reduce the property tax burden of commercial real estate owners and managers.

Potential opportunities (non-exhaustive list) may be present if any of the following exist:

  • Write downs, non-performing assets.
  • Property’s NOI has declined.
  • New lease rates for subject property have declined.
  • Recent Fee Appraisal was completed.
  • Recent transaction of subject property.
  • Reassessment has recently occurred.
  • Property has not been appealed recently.

Airline/Air Cargo

With industry consolidation, fluctuating oil prices, bankruptcy filings, and tight profit margins, much of the air transportation industry has suffered extreme economic hardship in the recent past. As the industry recovers, many assessors see this as a justification to aggressively raise airline and air cargo assessed values. At Complex PTS we have the most experienced property tax team to assist you to challenge this trend and insure that you take full advantage of your property tax position.

Potential opportunities (non-exhaustive list) may be present if any of the following exist:

  • The fleet is comprised of old, less efficient aircraft that decrease profitability relative to more modern and fuel efficient aircraft.
  • A large portion of the fleet is leased because you cannot access the capital markets at affordable rates like more credit worthy competitors.
  • You do not operate an ideal fleet mix that maximizes your current route structure and operations.
  • Assessors are incorrectly including the value of non-taxable intangible assets related to such things as trademarks, brand name, credit card programs, favorable gate space, etc.
  • Your CASM is high, RASM is weak, load factor is underperforming, turn time is high.
  • Continued periods of historically high fuel prices or significant disruptions in the supply of aircraft fuel have a material adverse impact on your operating results.

Consumer

At Complex PTS we serve the property tax needs of many mainstream industries in addition to the various specialized industries. Our team has property tax experience in banking, food and hospitality service, retail, healthcare, leasing as well as investment real estate and other industries with specialized property tax compliance and reporting needs. Many of these industries have a high compliance burden due to the sheer number and geographic dispersion of their assets but may not have significant tax liabilities or the in-house expertise to properly manage the process. Complex PTS is a good fit for any property owner seeking a higher caliber of client service and work product than an offshore or extreme discount provider can provide and that can do so at a reasonable price. We utilize the most reliable property tax software system that allows us to assist in everything in the property tax cycle from compliance to accruals. We offer our clients the ability to design their engagement to fit their individual budgets and service needs.

Manufacturing

Manufacturing is a dynamic industry. The property used by the manufacturing industry is as diverse as the products manufactured. With the increased use of robotics in the manufacturing process there are more pieces to the process than ever before. At Complex PTS, we know the parameters that create the line between machinery and hi-tech robotics. Technology is constantly updated and as a result the classification and identification of obsolescence for this equipment becomes an arduous task. Unfortunately, most assessors value this type of property through the use of mass appraisal techniques that fail to properly consider the uniqueness of the property itself and without regard to the marketplace conditions currently in place. As a result, assessed values are often overstated. Additionally, exemptions and other tax abatements may not be utilized because of inexperienced staff doing the work. At Complex PTS, we can help identify these issues and minimize your property tax expense.

Potential opportunities (non-exhaustive list) may be present if any of the following exist:

  • Facility operates at less than full capacity.
  • Facility has undergone significant expansion or has had multiple additions.
  • Facility has an inefficient layout or has vacant or unused space.
  • Facility is not utilized for its original purpose.
  • Comparable facilities have sold for less than this facility’s assessed fair market value.
  • Reassessment has recently occurred.
  • Property has not been appealed recently.
  • There is a decline in demand for the product manufactured.
  • Facility does not utilize the most efficient production technologies available.
  • Increased in raw material or energy expenses.
  • Costs to operate are higher than a comparable overseas operation.
  • Declining profitability.
  • Additional expenses related to newly enacted government regulations.

Pipeline

Compared to many other industries today, the financial health of the gas / pipeline industry directly depends upon a multitude of factors outside of its control. These range from the weather to the amount and location of current drilling activity, the availability of natural gas, the cost of competing resources such as oil and coal, the timing of significant contract expirations, and societal opposition to energy infrastructure development. At Complex PTS, we can help insure these conditions are considered so your property tax liability remains reasonable.

Potential opportunities (non-exhaustive list) may be present if any of the following exist:

  • Midstream facilities and transportation pipelines are attached to basins with naturally declining production, which you may not be able to replace with new sources of supply.
  • Transportation and storage operations are largely dependent on key customers with expiring contracts.
  • Supply and demand for the commodities transported by your pipeline shifts unfavorably.
  • The pipeline doesn’t operate at full capacity.
  • The volatility of natural gas and oil prices has negatively impacted profits.
  • Regulatory requirements relating to the integrity of your pipeline requires significant capital and operating expense outlays.
  • Climate change regulation at the federal, state or provincial levels increase operating and capital costs.
  • Increased regulation of exploration and production activities, including hydraulic fracturing, results in reductions or delays in drilling and completing new oil and natural gas wells, which could adversely impact revenues by decreasing the volumes of natural gas transported on your natural gas pipelines.
  • New competition arises from a new pipeline or other form of transportation.

Cable/Telecommunications

Sweeping changes in technology and intense competition from new and old rivals makes the cable / telecommunications industry a prime candidate for obsolescence reductions. With the constantly changing tools to communicate in cyberspace, providers of this equipment and associated services have their teams utilized in keeping up with increasing competition. Not only does the equipment become obsolete at lightning speed, but the tax implications on these services is inherently unpredictable. At Complex PTS our team is qualified to identify overvalued equipment and has the experience to obtain the tax reductions our clients deserve. Unfortunately, the dollar amounts associated with recent industry mergers and acquisitions have encouraged many assessors to overstate assessed values. At Complex PTS, we can help you overcome challenges such as these and reduce your property tax liability.

Potential opportunities (non-exhaustive list) may be present if any of the following exist:

  • New entrants arrive with significant financial resources that potentially may compete on a larger scale with your services.
  • The business operates in a competitive, consumer driven and rapidly changing environment and competes with a growing number of companies that provide a broad range of communications products and services and entertainment, news and information content to consumers.
  • New technologies, particularly alternative methods for the distribution, sale and viewing of content, have been developed that further increase the number of competitors and drive changes in consumer behavior.
  • You are dependent on your ability to acquire, develop, adopt and leverage new and existing technologies, and your competitors’ use of certain types of technology and equipment may provide them with a competitive advantage. Unfavorable general economic conditions, such as a recession or economic slowdown negatively affect the affordability of and demand for your products and services.
  • In difficult economic conditions, consumers may seek to reduce discretionary spending by forgoing purchasing your products, electing to use fewer higher margin services or obtaining lower-cost products and services offered by other companies.

Electric Utility

Whether your company is regulated or deregulated, electric utilities face a multitude of issues that oftentimes warrant assessed value reductions. Radical swings in fuel costs can make today’s energy darling tomorrow’s generating pariah while ever changing regulatory environments may create additional costs/overhead that greatly affect your bottom line. These issues can cause significant fluctuation in the market value of your assets and affect your annual property tax liability. Many times, these issues are ignored by state and local assessing authorities under the assumption that, “the market will correct itself”. At Complex PTS, we can help you take full advantage of these and all other potential opportunities available to reduce your property tax burden.

Potential opportunities (non-exhaustive list) may be present if any of the following exist:

  • Decline in demand for electricity as a result of an economic downturn in regulated electric service territories. Industrial customers reduce their consumption of electricity.
  • Although the regulated electric business is subject to regulated allowable rates of return and recovery of certain costs, such as fuel, under periodic adjustment clauses, overall declines in electricity sold as a result of economic downturn or recession could reduce revenues and cash flows, thereby diminishing results of operations and the value of said property.
  • Transmission or transportation constraints or inefficiencies impact non-regulated energy operations.
  • Increased availability of competitively priced alternative energy sources to those produced from coal, nuclear or gas plants.
  • Weather conditions, including abnormally mild winter or summer weather, cause lower energy usage for heating or cooling purposes.
  • Periods of low rainfall decrease the ability to operate facilities in an economical manner.

Additional federal or state laws / regulations create new or additional limits on the production of greenhouse gas emissions and:

  • Create substantial additional costs in the form of taxes or emission allowances
  • Make some electric generating units uneconomical to operate in the long term
  • Require significant capital investment in carbon capture and storage technology, fuel switching, or the replacement of high-emitting generation facilities with lower-emitting generation facilities
  • Affect the availability or cost of fossil fuels

Oil and Gas

The wide swings in the oil & gas industry present ever-moving targets for the valuation of this type of asset. Add the highly mobile nature of this equipment and you have significant possibilities for double assessments and improper valuation. The professionals at Complex PTS bring years of experience with a wide range of property types together to give our clients the attention these assets deserve.

Potential opportunities (non-exhaustive list) may be present if any of the following exist:

  • Fluctuations in oil and natural gas prices could adversely affect your drilling activity. Oil and gas drilling operators depend on spending by oil and gas companies for exploration, development and production activities. Both short-term and long-term trends in oil and natural gas prices affect these levels.
  • Changes in environmental laws related to hydraulic fracturing or other operations result in increased costs of compliance and reductions or delays in drilling and completing new oil and natural gas wells, which could adversely impact the demand for fracturing and other services.
  • You suffer blowouts, cratering, explosions, fires, loss of well control, loss of or damage to the wellbore or underground reservoir, damaged or lost drilling equipment and damage or loss from inclement weather or natural disasters.
  • Changes in governmental regulations impose price controls and limitations on production of crude oil, natural gas, bitumen, and natural gas liquids.
  • Liability for cleanup costs, natural resource damages, and other damages.
  • Laws, regulations, treaties or international agreements related to greenhouse gases and climate change have a negative impact on your business and result in additional compliance obligations with respect to the release, capture, and use of carbon dioxide.
  • Your services and products business is negatively affected by changes in capital expenditures by your customers, and reductions in their capital spending that has reduced the demand for your services and products.

Some of the items that may impact your customer's capital spending include:

  • Oil and natural gas prices, including volatility of oil and natural gas prices and expectations
  • The inability of your customers to access capital on economically advantageous terms
  • The consolidation of your customers
  • Customer personnel changes
  • Adverse developments in the business or operations of your customers, including write-downs of reserves and borrowing base reductions under customer credit facilities

High Volume Compliance

High Volume ComplianceComplex PTS provides quality service to clients with high volume and national compliance needs for a reasonable price. These clients include but are not limited to leasing, hospitality, retail and banking or any type of company that potentially has filing requirements in hundreds of taxing jurisdictions. At Complex PTS we utilize the latest version of PTMS software by Tax Compliance Inc. PTMS is the most widely used property tax software and is publicly available to any company that chooses to license it. As such, a client can have their data completely integrated into PTMS property tax software and available to them at any given time. By utilizing PTMS software Complex PTS is capable of providing high volume compliance clients with consistent filing and reporting on a national level. Our personnel have extensive experience with high volume compliance and have utilized PTMS software for numerous years. This also makes us well positioned to serve high volume compliance clients. Complex PTS is a good fit for any organization that requires filing personal property returns across the country while having the ability to create detailed reports by personnel who truly understand their needs.

Examples of client work performed by Complex PTS

  • While evaluating this oil and gas company’s prior year business personal property tax records, we found duplicate assessments in multiple assessing jurisdictions. By diligently researching company records, we established situs in the correct assessing jurisdiction(s) for the current and previous tax years. We significantly reduced the tax assessments for both tax years and achieved over $125,000 in tax savings. We continue to monitor annual assessments and have received reductions for various business personal property accounts in the subsequent tax years.
  • This adhesives manufacturer was contacted by the assessor’s office for a personal property compliance issue. Complex PTS was then engaged to assist and after extensive research, we discovered several assessing errors that not only affected the taxpayer’s current tax year, but also the prior tax year. One of the errors was an unapplied, local business exemption. We successfully negotiated reduced tax assessments for both tax years and achieved approximately $250,000 in tax savings for the taxpayer.
  • A large national client, under audit, requested Complex PTS review the jurisdiction’s escape assessment notice and workpapers. Due to our review and working with the auditor to make numerous changes and modifications, the client ultimately saved over $260,000 in additional taxes.
  • We successfully represented a leather goods manufacturer during a real estate tax appeal. With the unique nature of the property, the poor economic conditions facing the manufacture of leather goods in the United States, we successfully reduced the tax assessment and achieved approximately $105,000 in tax savings.
  • An airline client was faced with a new apportionment methodology. After discussions with the assessing jurisdiction, we were able to able to reduce the tax impact by over $2,000,000 annually on a go-forward basis.
  • As the new property tax provider for a national transportation company we reviewed the company’s prior year assessment in a particular state and found an over assessment that was not previously discovered. We were able to file a refund claim and help the client save over $500,000 in tax.
  • We filed Freeport exemptions for a transportation company in a jurisdiction where the Freeport was not previously filed. We were able to obtain over $600,000 of tax savings for the current and future years.