The Swartz Report: Good News (EO) and Bad News (COVID-19)
By Donald Swartz, President and Principal of Swartz + Associates, Inc.
Good News: Entrepreneurs’ Organization
I recently was accepted and joined the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Kansas City Chapter. This organization states, “as the world’s only peer-to-peer network exclusively for entrepreneurs, EO helps transform the lives of those who transform the world”. While my personal goal is not to help transform the world, per se, I was very much attracted to the idea of sharing ideas, stories, concerns and successes with a network of similarly minded business owners.
My group, or Forum, had our introductory training session and initial meeting last week. It was fascinating to be with a small group of business owners who tackle similar issues, both personal and business, in an open and non-judgmental environment. I am anticipating a close bond will quickly be formed as we meet on a monthly basis and truly get to know about each other’s lives.
EO currently has 196-chapter locations in 92 countries, with over 13,500 members. Many of my business contacts have familiarity (either as a member, former member or friends of a member) with EO and the initial comments have been overwhelmingly positive. I look forward to building this next step in my professional world and am excited about the opportunities EO will provide for my companies.
Bad News: Coronavirus
Like most of us, I have been watching the sweeping changes occurring in our lives over the past 10 days. What started as a potential nuisance has developed into a complete crisis. Whether you believe we, as a nation, have over-reacted or have not yet done enough to do our part, this is a generational event which demands calm and patience. We must listen to, and adhere to our governmental officials, both at the local and national levels.
My family plans for spring break were not unique as we were headed to the 1st and 2nd rounds of the NCAA basketball tournament in St. Louis. How many thousands were planning the same trips in their respective regions of the country? How many of us with college age children now face the reality of having them home for an extended period of time (at least the balance of the semester) while we watch their college tuition savings be significantly reduced by a turbulent and unpredictable market? While painful for everyone, we must trust the process and understand these steps are necessary (in my opinion) to create an environment of a “greater good”.
COVID-19 has had an impact on the property tax world as well.
Locally, counties have eliminated the “in person” hearings if a taxpayer has disputed his/her valuation on their property. Hearings will now be conducted via telephone only, and realistically, I see this remaining in place for several months. It will be very interesting to see how these initial rounds of appeals are treated and what the next level of appeal (State Tax Commission, Board of Tax Appeals, District Court or other State assessment boards) will look like in terms of scheduled hearing dates and the anticipated backlog of appeals.
As always, we will try to keep you posted on the latest property tax events and would be pleased to serve your interests. Please stay calm and look out for one another!
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