Death -- but lower taxesTaxes, at least, don't have to be...


September 20, 1992|By Elizabeth Large | Elizabeth Large,Staff Writer

Death -- but lower taxes

Taxes, at least, don't have to be certain. Not if you get in touch with Barbara S. F. Pease and Matthew Corn (please, no vegetable jokes), whose business, Property Tax Specialists, can help reduce your tax assessment.

Ms. Pease is an accountant who went into business for herself representing property owners in assessment appeals. She met Mr. Corn at the Department of Assessments and Taxation while she was working on a case. As she puts it, "He was on the other side of the desk." They got to know each other, and he decided to leave his job to join her business.

Most of their work is done on a contingency basis. If they can reduce your assessment, and therefore your property taxes, you pay them a percentage of what you save in the first two of the three years. "Our track record is pretty good," says Ms. Pease. "We get reductions in about 95 percent of our cases."

Assessment notices go out in January; but if you're interested and want to avoid crunch time, you can call Property Tax Specialists now at (410) 876-1464.

We can only dream about owning what we see at most museums, but the Carroll County Farm Museum specializes in a different sort of exhibit. "We want to bring in things regular people can collect," says curator Linda McNulty.

The latest in this series is an exhibit of McCormick memorabilia, from a company that is an important part of Baltimore's and Maryland's history. McCormick and Co. was established in 1899, and the collection dates from then; it contains cookbooks like the company's yearly Manual of Cookery, advertisements, antique tea and spice containers, toys with the McCormick logo and much more.

The items on exhibit are owned by a Sykesville couple, Paul and Nellie Brashears, who have been dedicated collectors of McCormick memorabilia for more than 20 years.

"Baltimore's McCormick Collectibles" will run through Sept. 27 at the museum, located at 500 S. Center St. in Westminster. Hours are noon to 5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Call (410) 876-2667 for more information.

Summer ends in a couple of days. To cheer yourself up, you could look ahead to next spring by doing a little planting. You've probably thought of container gardening if you're limited to a city balcony. But even if you have lots of space, growing flowers in pots or tubs is an easy and flexible option.

The Netherlands FlowerBulb Information Center suggests what it calls the "double decker" technique for planting bulbs. Choose a container with good drainage, or plant in smaller pots that fit inside a decorative container. Put a layer of tall-growing bulbs eight inches deep. Add three inches of soil and then a layer of low-growing bulbs. Cover with five more inches of soil and add an inch of mulch.

You might choose, say, tulips or daffodils for the lower level and hyacinths for the level above. Be sure to pick plants that flower at the same time. (The information will be on their packages.)

Bulbs need a 15-week cold period but shouldn't freeze. In case of extreme cold weather, small containers can be moved into an unheated shed or garage; large ones should be wrapped in burlap or blister-wrap.

In this economy, consignment shops are more appealing than ever to smart shoppers. Glencoe Gardens, located in a converted 1840s stone barn in Sparks, is a good one to know about because, as owner Wiley Hawks says, "It's a kind of antique store, gift shop and community center in one." (To the point of holding an Easter egg hunt every spring!) Antiquers appreciate the friendly atmosphere; they can get a cup of coffee here or use the telephone.

Glencoe Gardens is the kind of place where you'll find a $3 pressed glass plate on top of a $5,000 Maryland Hepplewhite chest of drawers. Owners Wiley and Colby Hawks also sell new '' items in their separate gift shop -- "unique gifts and decorative accessories," says Mr. Hawks. "We can't carry what Macy's does if we want people to drive out past Belfast Road to shop here."

Closer to Christmas, Glencoe Gardens will also have fresh boxwood, magnolia and other greenery for sale, cut from the 100-acre estate the barn is located on; and there will be free classes on decorating with greens.

The address is 15900 York Road. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays, noon to 5 p.m. Sundays, closed Mondays. The phone number is (410) 472-2300.

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