Archive for December, 2013

Last chance to lower your taxes for 2013

Outside of 401K, IRA and other retirement contribution deductions, you only have the next few days to make any deduction to lower your taxes for 2013.

For whatever reason you have to take those expenses now instead of waiting for 2014 to pay them, it could make a big difference in your taxes.

Example;  if in your State, like mine New York, you can get an extra exemption on your Real Estate taxes if you are over 65, and have income under 81,900, you can qualify for what is called “Enhanced Star” which could save you an additional $300 or so on your property taxes.

See more information at New York’s Department of Taxation website;

Paying a deductible expense now, say a fee on rental property, that you own and rent out,  of $100 could keep you under that threshold, and make that extra exemption a reality for you.  Of course you may have the same problem next year, so a call to your accountant is a must.  There are other things you can do to lower your taxes but I’m not giving advice for you just an alert that you only have a few more days to do whatever you can to lower those beloved income taxes.

Time is ticking, don’t delay.


Christmas in Staten Island 2013

Slideshow of homes decorated for Christmas.  A lot of work went into these homes, Thank you for the beautiful display.

Click here for the slideshow


John Gambling, Rambling with Gambling

It’s Truly the end of an era.  Today December 20, 2013 was the last broadcast of “Rambling with Gambling” talk radio show on WOR, 710 on the AM dial.

If you google the name, John Gambling, you will see a ton of information about this great talk show host.

I remember listening to his grandfather back in the 1950’s, only because the show had the weather, time and when the show ended, I knew it was time to get out of the house and get the bus to go to school.

It always ended with the song, “Pack up your troubles in your old kit bag”, an old WW1 song.

When I started working in the newspaper business, 1960, I would listen on my way home on the car radio.  So I go back with the radio show over 50 years.

After retiring from the newspaper business in December 2004, I started selling Real Estate, and every morning I would listen to John while I did my research on active and sold properties.

Today was a real tear jerker, with listeners calling to give their well wishes and almost crying.

I wonder if there will ever be a question, “who was the last caller on the John Gambling show?”  I was listening and I’m sure Rich from Rockaway will remember.  So if you ever see a Trivia question about that, your answer is right here.  Did you hear  how he closed his program today?  A real class act, thanking his wife and playing the song Roy and Dale Rogers sang at the end of their show.  Happy Trails.

I hope we have not heard the last from Mr. John Gambling.  Only time will tell, but I’m thinking and hoping that his voice will once again be sharing his wisdom with us.

Best wishes to you John.

My best Moon shot ever.

Moon over New York City 12.18.2013

Houses on Staten Island decorated for Christmas

If you click on this link it will take you to my Google+ page that has the slide show.  When the first picture up loads, click on it, then click on the word “slide show” in the upper part of your screen.  When it loads, click “play” at the bottom of the screen.  Watch as the photos change and the lights twinkle.


Merry Christmas.

Home made brownies

Posted: December 1, 2013 in about New York

Step by step instructions of how I make the best brownies in town.
I use; 1 stick of butter
5 squares of Bakers unsweetened chocolate
2 cups of sugar
1 cup of flour
3 eggs
Bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Let cool in the pan for 8 minutes, no more. Divide and share.

New York State Real Estate Tax Exemption for Homeowners

In order to prevent double exemptions, the state is making New York residents to file for their Basic Star exemption once more.  This would have been done at closing when you bought the unit.  However, the re applying must be completed by December 31 of this year, 2013, in order to keep your exemption for the future.

If you qualify for the Enhanced Star, you need not re-submit your application. Enhanced Star mandates a copy of your tax return to see if you qualify.

If you are a Veteran, thank you for your service, or the widow of a Veteran, you must also submit your DD-214.  Again, if you already qualify for the Enhanced Star Exemption, you need not re-submit.

A simple on-line form can be obtained and submitted for the regular Star Exemption on-line,  but the Enhanced Star for new applications must include the Federal Tax return for last year, 2012.

Just click on the above links for more complete information.

A job well begun, is half done!


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