The Swartz Report: NYC, Celebrating 9 Years and Filing Deadlines

NYC, Celebrating 9 Years and Filing DeadlinesToo often in our busy world, we get so caught up in our work activities, we can lose sight of the important things in our lives. In my previous blog, I mentioned several appeal deadlines we were working to complete for both the Indurante and Swartz companies.

New York City for Mother’s Day

Last week, my wife and I were able to get away for Mother’s Day weekend to visit our kids in NYC. Miriam is currently working in a 2-year fellowship with the New York/New Jersey Port Authority and Aaron is employed by Syracuse University in the Admissions Office. Although we were based on the Jersey side (as Miriam is living in Jersey City) it was unbelievable to me that our commute into the City was significantly shorter than my drive to the office! Jersey City and Hoboken offer spectacular views of the skyline and there is elbow room to spare.

If ever there was an opportunity to recharge the batteries, this was indeed the weekend. Perfect weather, great food, Ellis Island, spending time with our children and their friends – truly a reset in our work/life balance.

NYC, Celebrating 9 Years and Filing Deadlines NYC, Celebrating 9 Years and Filing Deadlines

Consider this blog a break from the ordinary as well!

It is very gratifying to visit your adult children and see them thriving in their professional capacity. This is especially true when they are long distances away and the chances to visit them on “their turf” are infrequent at best. To be able to have engaging conversations about a variety of topics is special, but knowing they still ask for our opinions on the way to handle/treat certain issues is particularly rewarding.

As parents, we will always be concerned about their well being and do whatever we can to help them succeed, but it is fun to watch them spread their wings independently.

But work/life balance does indeed have a work side… 😊

NYC, Celebrating 9 Years and Filing Deadlines

Filing Deadlines

Iowa appeals are taking place as of this writing and will continue through the first week in June; KS informal results are just starting to come in; CO filing deadline has been pushed back to June 8th and we are still waiting for Jackson County, MO commercial values to be issued (July 10 deadline).

Railcar filings are almost complete with two remaining states to be filed and property tax bills due by April 30th have been all been submitted for payment. (I’m tired just thinking about this!)

Nine Year Anniversary of Swartz & Associates!

Enjoy the upcoming Memorial Day weekend. June 1st will mark the 9-year anniversary of Swartz & Associates. Talk about work/life balance??? Unbelievable!

As always, I appreciate your comments and thoughts – and

The Swartz Report: Appeals Updates, Big Savings for a Client and Growing Our Pipeline

By Donald Swartz, President

Appeals Updates, Big Savings for a Client and Growing Our PipelineHappy Spring to everyone! If March comes in like a lion and out like a Lamb, how would one describe the property tax world in March and April (and May and June…)???

I would propose the following – IN like a Super Bowl Experience (very controlled but tens of thousands of people) and OUT like an NFL Draft experience (not so controlled AND hundreds of thousands of people.) 😊 I feel this analogy is appropriate as a nod to our Kansas City Chiefs and a nod to Kansas City hosting the NFL draft in two weeks!

Appeals Updates

Appeals in Kansas are taking place this month; the appeal deadline in Iowa is the end of April; Missouri values are out with informal deadlines in May and the formal appeal deadlines in July; Colorado deadlines at the end of May.

Railcar state filings have been ongoing in March, through April and finally rolling to a stop (pun intended…) in Mid-May.

Whew! There is a lot happening with appeals right now.

I am very fortunate to have a great employee base dedicated to making things happen and I want to focus on two scenarios  – “out of the box” thinking and re-investing in yourself and your company.

Client Success Story: A $500,000 Refund

Noelle Giacomino reviewed a situation for a long time Indurante client. Last year, she was reviewing prior year’s assessments and something seemed out of line. After more research, she believed she had uncovered a situation where several railcars in Texas may have been duplicated in assessment. Counties had valued the same marked cars twice. Once, as owned cars and again, as leased cars.

Noelle had determined separate entities had reported the same cars to multiple jurisdictions. After discussing with our client, we were given permission to pursue potential refund opportunities. I will skip the details, but the issue was recently resolved and we were successful in achieving a refund of 2021 taxes paid to the tune of almost $500,000.

Noelle’s attention to detail, relationship with the client and “out of the box thinking” made this tremendous outcome possible.

Focus on Building Our Pipeline

As I mentioned previously, David Swartz joined the company in January. The idea being, David would be a great “connector” for increasing business relationships in the Des Moines market and beyond. I have not previously invested in a “business development” employee.

As analysts and technicians, our strengths are reviewing properties and understanding how to present our cases to the various jurisdictions. Securing new clients? Not really an organized strategy for us previously… Enter David, with a strategy to effectively reach out to contacts, and away we go!

David has secured several new clients in his 3+ months and we now have over $400,000,000 (and counting) in property values for review in new business. Shocking, surprising, exceeding expectations? YES, YES and YES! Now it is our turn as analysts to effectively represent our clients. I am confident we are up to the challenge.

As always, I appreciate your readership and comments – keep them coming!

If we can assist you in your property tax needs, please reach out to me. or
Thank you again for your continued support!

The Swartz Report: Name Recognition, Appeal Deadlines, March Madness and More!

By Donald Swartz, President

Name Recognition, Appeal Deadlines, March Madness and More!Earlier this month, my Director of the Indurante office and I attended the Rail Equipment Finance Conference in Palm Springs. This was our first time attending the event and it did not disappoint.

High level executives from all sectors of the rail industry were in attendance and the days were full of insightful information; networking opportunities and terrific receptions in the evening. While attendance exceeded 400 people, it was clear this group is a fairly tight fraternity with very few “degrees of separation”.

Indurante Name Recognition

Most interestingly to me was the fact that our company name (our brand identity) was well known among the conference attendees. In a business world of practicing and perfecting your “elevator speech” concerning your business, I was extremely surprised by the number of people who said, “Oh, Indurante? I know your services!” This occurred countless times over the conference and is a tremendous credit to Pete Indurante, who built the business with his years and years of experience and expertise.

Hopefully, I have picked up a few things over the 4 ½ years since purchasing the company. But make no mistake, the Indurante name carried a significant amount of weight during the conference. I am extremely proud of our employees, who continue to represent the name and service we provide with professionalism and tremendous efficiency. I am excited to attend next year and plan to make this an annual “must do”.

Name Recognition, Appeal Deadlines, March Madness and More!

Swinging into Spring

Name Recognition, Appeal Deadlines, March Madness and More!It’s that time of year and things are busy, busy, busy – Indurante is in the middle of filing season, preparing thousands of property tax declarations in the various states that private railcars are passing through.

On the Swartz side, the Kansas appeal deadline is rapidly approaching and the Iowa valuation notices will be out by the end of the month. As this is a reassessment year, taxpayers will have a very tight window to appeal the valuation of their property if they believe the value is excessive. Iowa taxpayers will have until May 1 to appeal their new valuations received with the next real opportunity to review in March of 2025! After Iowa, we roll right into Missouri, Colorado and Nebraska (not to mention all the other states we work where our clients own property.)

After 35+ years of being involved in this, one would think I’ve seen it all. Hardly! I am as anxious and excited as I have ever been. The dynamic changes occurring in the valuation world only add fuel to the fire and challenge the way we look at assessments and force us to broaden our horizons. We must continue to be thinking “outside the box” to assist our clients.

March Madness

Name Recognition, Appeal Deadlines, March Madness and More!Of course, adding to this “madness” is March Madness. As I go back and review my March blogs from previous years, there are two things that remain woefully consistent. My predictions about my Hawkeyes making it to the Sweet Sixteen and the reality that they don’t. 😊 At least the Iowa women are in the round of 16 and they’ve been a joy to watch!

As always, I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this and please, do not hesitate to reach out as we are here for you! or

The Swartz Report: The Power of Snail Mail – A Client Success Story

Chiefs Kingdom is Alive and Well

Chiefs Kingdom and a Client Success Story.Another football season, another Super Bowl… Ho hum, ho hum!!! Okay, not exactly as this season provided thrills and tension every week up to and certainly including the Big Game against the Eagles.

While we were in the Phoenix area during the Super Bowl, we did not attend the game. But we did find a great Chiefs bar in Scottsdale called Pub Rock Live. We watched the game with a thousand other Chiefs fans. Football fans all across the country streamed into Phoenix during the week and all were representing their favorite teams with pride.

I was really surprised. I assumed the gear would be predominately Chiefs and Eagles attire, but I was wrong. It’s estimated that over one million people converged on the Phoenix area over the two weeks including the Super Bowl, the Waste Management Open and the hint of the beginning of Spring Training. It’s clear the NFL is THE machine in the US for sports. Families were dressed in their respective team’s attire everywhere we turned, and it was quite entertaining.

But all good entertainment must come to a pause and “work” must take place so we can enjoy more entertainment in the future.

Chiefs Kingdom Chiefs Kingdom

We are ramped up for another property tax season.

Railcar information and mileage is coming in; year-end fixed asset listings are being forwarded and we are set to review additions and retirements in our preparation to file thousands of  State and County personal property declarations.

Kansas real estate valuations will be mailed out in the coming weeks; Iowa will send out re-assessment notices by the end of March; Missouri and Colorado are ramping up for their re-assessments as we roll into May and June. Busy, busy, busy.

Entering my 37th year of the “property tax season”, this never gets old. We are excited to assist our clients in this  annual (or in some states, bi-annual) review.

The Power of Snail Mail

While we are constantly trying to catch up in the world of technology, I would like to share a brief story of how “snail mail” is still an effective tool.

In 2017, we sent out mailers to prospects advising taxpayers of the upcoming reassessment in Missouri, and specifically, Jackson County. Fast forward to 2019, when an out-of-state owner that has property in Jackson County reached out to me. They had received the letter back in 2017, but were engaged with another provider at the time. They decided to see if we were interested in reviewing their property in 2019.

After a face-to-face meeting in early 2019, we were engaged to review the property and several others in their portfolio across several states. Additionally, they had a very good relationship with a tenant, who also had a significant portfolio of properties across the country. We reached out to their tenant and ultimately were given the opportunity to review their real estate portfolio.

As we head into the 2023 tax year, we’ve saved each of these clients tens of thousands of dollars in our review and successful appeals. They remain clients to this day, and it’s a result of the antiquated process of sending out a letter the old-fashioned way! I think there is a lesson in here somewhere. 😊

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions relating to real and business personal property valuations.
We are here to assist –

For questions regarding railcar valuations and assessments you can reach me at as well.

Looking forward to Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas – that should be interesting!

The Swartz Report: Ringing in the New Year with a strong addition to our team. Introducing David Swartz.

By Donald Swartz, President

Introducing David SwartzHappy New Year to everyone and I trust the year if off to a fast start! I know a popular thought to begin the new year involves New Year’s resolutions – losing weight, exercising more, eating healthier, watching less television, spend more time with family… The list is extensive and if we’re honest, can be quite repetitive.

My resolution and goals heading into 2023 are simple, yet challenging. Namely, I want to think outside the box.

What does that mean? I want to find additional ways to create value for our clients and prospective clients within Indurante and Swartz; I want to create a larger footprint so more people know about our companies and services we provide; I want to become a better promoter of my companies (not necessarily my strongest asset!)

For me, thinking outside the box to accomplish these goals has been accomplished in one fell swoop.


Please say hello to David Swartz.

After 30+ years in the financial industry, working with various insurance products and wealth advisors, David has decided to join the company and focus on business development. As David says, he is both a Swartz and an associate of the company, so this seems easy and natural.

Living in Des Moines, our hope is to build on our solid foundation created over the years and grow our client base. David’s strengths match our Core Values – he is ethical, professional, entrepreneurial and client focused. (Not to mention older and wiser!) We’ll work on the expertise side together. 😊

I am very excited to have him join the ranks and look forward to his presence, thoughts and energy as we get started in 2023.

Don and David Swartz

This will be a challenging and fantastic year rolled into one.

With reassessment in many states occurring in 2023; adjustments continuing in interest rates; supply chain issues easing in the rail world and many other factors presenting themselves in valuation of equipment and real estate, I believe I have already achieved the goal of thinking outside the box. Have you?

As always, I appreciate your feedback and commentary. Please email me directly at or

To reach out to David directly – please contact him at

The Swartz Report: LinkedIn, Websites and the Art of Telling Our Stories

LinkedIn And StorytellingBy Donald Swartz, President

Last week, I met with our web designer; LinkedIn guru; bourbon aficionado and all around great guy, Jason Terry of Blue Gurus. We decided to meet after Swartz employees had our month end marketing meeting. As you may know, 2023 will be a significant reassessment year in IA, MO and CO and we anticipate a lot of activity. Sales have been hot, hot, hot over the past two years, but the recent increase in interest rates and the slowing of the economy has seen a softening on the real estate market and other sectors over the past few months.

But back to our marketing meeting…

After reviewing our website, discussing our use (or lack of use) of LinkedIn; social media  and other platforms, we agreed it is probably time to “spruce things up” a little bit. We will be meeting with Jason before year end to update a few things and spend time re-learning how to use LinkedIn to provide interesting stories and information to our clients and potential clients.  I am very excited to go through the process again and see just how much has changed over the past eight years. (In many respects, I’m a little nervous, too!)

Indurante and Associates, Inc.

One of my goals for 2023 is to spend more time discussing Indurante and Associates, Inc. I purchased this company just over four years ago and really could do a much better job of promoting the company. Focusing on owners of private rail cars, we are the leading provider of property tax services to these owners; handling the filings to the respective states (and counties in some situations), verifying assessments and paying the taxes on behalf of several clients. We are literally the back office for property taxes for many of our clients. Our client base consists of almost 70% of the private fleet market and almost 30% of all private railcars in service. This is a really big deal, but the private railcar industry is so small and familial, I tend to forget to discuss the nuances of the business.

The following items are just some of the services we provide annually:

  • Filing of the property tax returns
  • Reviewing assessments and tax bills
  • Completing speed study analyses
  • Filing for tax credits relating to repairs and maintenance
  • Obsolescence and idle capacity studies
  • Processing and payment of thousands of tax bills on behalf of clients
  • Year over Year comparative analysis of taxes paid

This is a partial listing, but as you can see, our group is top notch and we are entering the renewal period for our clients as the 2023 filing season is just around the corner. This service compliments our Swartz & Associates work so well, as we truly handle state AND local property tax matters!

More to come in December, but for now – Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. I hope you have a peaceful and restful holiday!

As always, if you have any questions or comments, you may reach me at or

The Swartz Report: RSI Expo and October Happenings

RSI Expo and October HappeningsBy Donald Swartz, President

Last week, Kristen Canfield and I attended the 2022 RSI Expo and Technical Conference. We made the decision to attend based on the fact we hadn’t been able to go to conferences and felt this would be a good opportunity to see clients and potential clients face to face. Additionally, the technical sessions would provide us with information relating to the railroad industry for the coming year – trends, supply chain issues, technology updates…. all components we are interested in for potential discussion with State Assessors on the valuation of railcars for property tax purposes in the coming year.

The conference did not disappoint, as we were able to meet several individuals throughout the conference who were either interested in our services, were existing clients of Indurante or wanting to become more involved in the industry. It was a great couple of days and we look forward to attending next year’s Expo in Indianapolis.

A big thank you to our client, Trinity Industries for hosting a wonderful dinner at the Ashton Depot.

Ashton Depot

Ashton Depot

October Happenings

This has been a busy month as we recently completed our 2023 planning meetings for both Indurante and Swartz. With reassessment looming in Missouri, Iowa and Colorado for the 2023 tax year; rising interest rates, a softening of the real estate market and several articles focusing on a short term (or longer term) recession, property taxes will be a topical concern for most, if not all, owners for commercial real estate, machinery and private railcars. We anticipate a busy year and we want to make sure we’re ready to handle the needs of our clients.

Undoubtedly, counties will be relying on sales data from the past 2-3 years to support their opinions of value for the coming year. Will these sales be reflective of the market place as of January 2023? For income producing properties, what capitalization rates will be employed to calculate values based upon the Income Approach?

These are the big questions taxpayers will face and we’re preparing for the appeals process set to occur in the spring and summer of 2023. As we finish up a successful 2022 season, we know our services will be in high demand heading into 2023!

Please reach me directly to see how we can be of benefit to you – or

The Swartz Report: What does Elton John have to do with Property Tax Valuations?

Elton John and Property Tax ValuationsFor the past several years, around this time, I’ve been writing about road trips to take my kids back to college. Many memorable excursions indeed, but I thought my travels to Syracuse may be over and my college campus visits would be limited to my alma mater. 😊 Well, there is always the exception as the family congregated in Syracuse (with our other friends) to see Elton John’s Farewell Tour.

As my son professed after the concert, he has never heard the crowd at “the dome” so loud for a football or basketball game as compared to the concert goers. Elton did not disappoint, especially the last 45 minutes! At 75, he can still command an audience. While his theatrics have calmed down over the years, the video board and close ups of his piano playing were all I needed for an entertaining evening. If you have a chance, I would recommend making the effort to see the Farewell Tour – Good Bye Yellow Brick Road before he closes in Los Angeles.

So, what does this have to do with property tax valuations for railcars, equipment and commercial industrial buildings?

Elton John and Property Tax ValuationsAbsolutely nothing… unless we look at the importance of experience, knowledge and command of a situation.

While not a seasoned entertainer of 50 years, I will be completing my 36th year of appealing property tax valuations. Over that amount of time, you meet people of all personalities; see all types of properties; attend hearings ranging from the local, one-on-one meetings to cases before the State Supreme Court.  Additionally, we’ve endured challenging economic times – the Dotcom bust of the early 2000s, the market collapse of 2008-09 and more recently, the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic.

These experiences, while challenging at that particular moment, help define who I am as an individual and who we are as a company. I would like to believe these situations have made our company stronger and better able to serve our clients today and more importantly, into the future.

Catering to our Audience

Elton John and Property Tax ValuationsLike Elton John, we should be able to cater to our audience, perform to (and exceed) expectations and know we have given our best efforts to get maximum results. After all, patrons of a concert are really clients of the performer.

Thank you, Sir Elton John, for your excellence of music. And thank you to our audience for allowing us to provide our excellence in the property tax world. By the way, any thoughts on the valuation of a yellow, brick road? Replacement cost, less depreciation… any functional or economic obsolescence???

As always, you may reach me with your thoughts or questions – or

The Swartz Report: Conferences, Entrepreneurs Organizations and Property Taxes

Conferences, Entrepreneurs Organizations and Property TaxesBy Donald Swartz, President

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the Wichita Property Tax Conference (formerly the Appraisal for Ad Valorem Taxation Conference). This is an annual conference attended by State Assessors, members of respective State Departments of Revenue, consultants in the property tax area and businesses with property tax liabilities valued by the state (properties such as rail, pipeline, telecommunications, energy, etc.)

This year was the 50th anniversary of the conference, and the first in person meeting since 2019.

I initially attended the conference in 2017 during my early conversations with Pete Indurante and the prospects of acquiring his company.

At the time of the 2018 meeting, we had not quite finalized the transaction, so I again attended as an interested consultant. Unfortunately, I missed the 2019 conference due to my accident and the in-person conference was not held in 2020-21 due to the pandemic. I was anxiously (and excitedly) awaiting the 2022 conference as this would be my first conference as owner of Indurante & Associates, Inc. (Indurante)

Indurante is a member of the influential Railway Supply Institute and as part of the RSI Tax Committee, we annually share in hosting a hospitality suite during the conference.

To say my expectations were met would be a complete understatement.

Members of the committee were warm and engaging; excited to learn about me and the technology we have implemented within Indurante.  Mark Phillips (Manager) and Noelle Giacomino (Director) attended the conference with me and to see them interact with various governmental officials, our clients and other RSI committee members was a true pleasure for me to witness.

I attended the educational breakout sessions and speakers, but my true focus this year was to show my face as the “face” of Indurante. Very exciting and very fulfilling!  I am already looking forward to the 2023 conference.

Speaking of conferences, in September, I will be attending the Entrepreneurs Organization’s EO XCentric in Cincinnati.  As a member of EO Kansas City and Board Member of the Kansas City Chapter, this is an event dedicated to the US Central Region of EO Chapters. I have not previously attended this event, but if it is anything compared to the EO Global Leadership Conference earlier this year, I am very interested to meet fellow business owners, entrepreneurs and the learn from engaging speakers spanning a full spectrum of topics.

If you are a business owner and would like to learn more about EO, I strongly encourage you to click on the following link – Entrepreneurs’ Organization Home ( or contact me directly (email below) as I would be thrilled to let you know more about my involvement and what EO membership provides for me.

It is hard to believe the summer is coming to an end, but the fall looks exciting as we begin to ramp up for reassessments in Iowa, Colorado and Missouri in 2023. We are also looking at the relaxing of sales in the residential and commercial markets and will be interested to see how the counties respond with their valuations next year.

Thank you for your continued interest in Swartz & Associates and Indurante.

As always, please reach me directly at either of the following addresses as I would love to hear from you and what issues would be of interest to you. or

The Swartz Report: How do you define success?

How do you define success?By Donald Swartz, President

How do you define success? Since I started working 36+ years ago in the business world, the question seemed fairly obvious to me… “it’s all about revenue.” And success is defined by how much that revenue exceeds expenses. While this may be a result of success, does it define success? Are there more components making up a successful model than purely the financial component?

The readership of this monthly blog appears to be increasing. By definition, this should be considered a success as my reach is growing month over month and year over year. But what if the message is stale or there’s no reaction/interaction? (Comments positive or negative, responses of similar or shared experiences, etc.) Is this still a successful and worthy component of the business?

What measurements do you consider when determining success?

KPIsYour feedback is of great interest to me – what measurements do you consider when determining success? Is it purely financial or are there emotional consideration as well? How do you factor in quality-of-life issues, the retention of employees and their “happiness” at the work place? What would you consider your KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to be in your respective industries?

As we begin to prepare for the 2023 tax year, these are aspects we need to keep in mind. If we don’t tend to the little things, we will never accomplish the big things and I am curious how others view success.

On another note…

I read my blog from July of 2021 (if you’re interested in reading it as well, please click here.) And while there were no road trips with my daughter these past 30 days, I was able to create a trip with my son as he begins his professional journey.

Similar to last year, we started our trek to Syracuse, albeit not as direct as previously executed. This included a quick stop in Walcott, IA, home of the largest truck stop in the country. (Oh, and by the way, a current client! To learn more about Iowa 80 Group, please click here.)

After that, dinner in South Bend and overnight in East Lansing. A quick little drive around Spartyville and off to Ann Arbor for lunch before heading over to State College. Unfortunately, significant traffic delays along Interstate 80 forced us to scrap dinner plans at Penn State, so we hustled straight to Syracuse.

Being a Big 10 guy, I enjoyed seeing the other campuses and with all the conference realignments occurring, maybe ND will join the best conference some day! I will take Iowa City over all of them, except when walking across the Iowa River in January and February. 😊

Enjoy the rest of the summer – stay safe, stay cool, be considerate of others and as always, thank you for your confidence in our companies.  Please share any comments or suggestions by replying to the blog or email directly at or