Founded in 2010, Fincredit Inc. is a business solutions company focusing on merchant services and marketing.
In late 2010, our company started the development of the Property Tax Reward ProgramTM (PTRP). Under the PTRP, homeowners shopping at local participating merchants, receive rebates on sales and services in the form of property tax credits. The more homeowners shop in their town, the more property tax credits they accumulate.
Early on, our company realized that the road to developing an effective property tax reward program for the benefit of the individual resident and the business owner alike, could not be achieved without the involvement, in a leadership capacity, of local townships and their economic development entities.
For years townships have been advocating for local spending. The benefits of a thriving local economy go well beyond the obvious reasons. Lower vacancies, higher ratables, new jobs, lower property taxes are just a few reasons for shopping in town. It soon became clear to us that what prevented townships from developing a strong Shop Local program was lack of attractive incentives to town residents.
The challenge was to create a special business reward program that would be a true asset to the local business community and, at the same time, provide a strong motivation for residents to shop in town. For us, there was only one solution. Property tax credits earned on purchases of goods and services from local merchants was the best way to create an ongoing, vialble Shop Local economic program.
The response of homeowners looking for ways to lower their out-of-pocket expense of property taxes has been overwhelming. Add to this, the need of local merchants to increase their business volume and of townships to keep existing businesses from leaving while attracting new business initiatives.
For us, combining existing and proprietary, patent-pending, software was the winning formula for creating a sound infrastructure for townships to build and launch their property tax reward program.
This is a true ‘win-win’ solution for town residents, local businesses and townships. By using a township-issued property tax card, residents enjoy a direct relief on their property tax bills; the business enjoys a higher local awareness/revenues, and the township benefits from lower vacancies, more local jobs and happier residents.
To register for this program: www.propertytaxcard.com
Q. What is the Property Tax Card (PTC) program?
A. PTC is a Township’s economic development program which provides property tax dollars as an incentive for residents to shop in town.
Q. How does the program work?
A. A PTC (similar to a reward card) will be made available to all township residents. After they enroll in the program, residents may use the PTC and accumulate property tax dollars.
Example: The cost of a dinner for four at a restaurant participating in the PTC with a 20% property tax rebate is $200. When paying for the check (either cash or credit), just present your PTC. The tax card is then swiped and a $40 tax credit (less program fees) is generated. Rewards will be credited to your property tax bill before your next tax bill is issued.
Q. How do I obtain a PTC?
A. Please contact your township for information on how to obtain your PTC.
Q. Is there a cost to obtain the card?
A. The card is free to the participant.
Q. How do I enroll in the PTC program?
A. You can register your card online at http://www.propertytaxcard.com.
Q. I rent my house. Can I benefit from the program?
A. Yes. When you register your card, check the “Renters” box and provide your information. The Renters option will appear in the online registration form only if your township program allows renters to participate. Yearly, a check for the total rebates you have accrued will be mailed to you. A $7 check handling fee will be deducted from your accumulated rebates.
Q. I work in town but I live out of town. Can I still benefit from the program?
A. Yes. Provided the township extends the program to people that do not live in town. At registration, you would choose the option “RENT OR LIVE IN A DIFFERENT TOWN”. A yearly rebate check will be mailed to you (see answer above).
Q. Can I obtain and register multiple cards?
A. Yes. You can register as many cards as you need. If for example your household includes four shoppers, you may obtain four cards and register them all under the same address and block and lot number. Therefore your property tax bill will be credited every time any of the four cards is used.
Q. What establishments participate to the PTC program?
A. You can find a list of local participating merchants at www.PropertyTaxCard.com/Bridgewater/participants
Q. Can I use a coupon in conjunction with the PTC?
A. As a general rule, businesses do not accept multiple discount offers. However, the merchant will make that determination when joining the program. It is possible that they will allow only a portion of the discount from the coupon and honor the PTC. Again, the merchant will unilaterally make that decision.
Q. Can I return an item and get full credit?
A. Yes. Store return policies do not change. You will need to submit your rebate receipt and the PTC when returning an item for full credit. If a return takes place after funds are transferred to the Township, you will be entitled only to full store credit or to a refund of your purchase amount less the property tax rebate paid by the merchant. However, the above is subject to the store return policy. If the PTC and the rebate receipt are not produced, only store credits will be provided by the store.
Q. How do I keep track of my credits?
A. After you register your card online, you will be able to check your card(s) activity and property tax savings on www.propertytaxcard.com .
Q. What is the property tax rebate that I will be getting from stores?
A. The rebate percentage will be indicated next to the name of the participating establishment on www.propertytaxcard.com .
Q. What happens if I am registered but do not have my card at the time of purchase?
A. Our system allows you to provide your registered phone number and obtain the credit. However for partial returns and voids, you must have your card or your card number available.
Q. What is the Property Tax Card (PTC) program?
A. The PTC is a Township program which provides property tax dollars as an incentive for residents to shop in town
Q. How does the program work?
A. A township distributes a Property Tax Card (similar to a reward card) to its residents. When shopping at a local store, together with the normal payment for goods and services, the cardholder will submit their PTC. You will swipe the PTC in a dedicated processing machine that Fincredit Inc. (Program Manager) will provide. The swipe will result in a rebate on sale. The rebate is credited to the shopper’s PTC account. You, the merchant, will determine the rebate percentage when enrolling in the program. Every week, the accumulated rebates will be collected by the Program Manager from your checking account. Yearly the rebates will be applied to your customers’ property tax bill.
Q. How do I enroll my business?
A. You will be asked to fill out a 2-page form. You may also register your business on line www.propertytaxcard.com/(nameofprogram) >Business Registration on menu bar . After we process your application, we will provide you with a welcome kit including user guide on how to process transactions.
Q. What is my cost to participate in the PTC program?
A. After the initial purchase of the processing machine, if required (approx. $160 for dial-up terminal,
$230 IP terminal, $50 for a card reader, if you use our web terminal), your monthly cost is $10.
Q. What is my responsibility as a participant?
A. Your only responsibility is to honor the rebate you choose to provide to the cardholder. Rebates are collected weekly. To avoid bank fees, we require that a sufficient amount to cover the rebates is kept in the account.
Q. What is a good rebate to offer?
A. What you offer to the cardholder is entirely up to you. Rebates vary widely from business to business. A grocer may have a 35-40% gross profit, and offer 10%; an exclusive restaurant 300-400% and offer a 30% rebate. Each business will determine their rebate percentage when enrolling in the program. We require that your rebate be in line with what you normally offer in your marketing campaigns.
Q. I accept coupons. What if a cardholder presents both his card and a coupon?
A. Generally, the card as well as coupons cannot be used with any other offer. This will be expressly stated in the terms and conditions of the program when registering the card. However, you may want to offer a lower discount on the coupon and still honor the card rebate. Remember, the idea is to retain the customer.
Q. What is the advantage to participating businesses?
A. Thanks to the appeal of property tax rebates, local businesses should enjoy a higher business volume. Furthermore, continued support by the township should provide a high awareness for local businesses. An additional feature is that you will have access to email addresses of customers that used the card at your business. Finally, your business banner and website link will be featured at www.propertytaxcard.com at no extra cost.
If your township opts to get a ShopYourTown mobile App, you will have a free mobile presence. App upgrades are possible (eg reservations; take-out orders; merchandise inventory, etc)
Q. How are returns handled?
A. Your normal return policy applies. When returning an item, you will ask for their rebate receipt and card. If the return qualifies for a full cash return, you will then swipe the card in your dedicated processing machine and apply the credit that will be reimbursed to your account.
IF THE PROPERTY TAX CARD AND THE RECEIPT ARE NOT PRODUCED, ONLY A STORE CREDIT WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE TO THE CONSUMER.
Q. When a customer returns merchandise, how do I know that the PTC was used?
A. At the point of sale, you will write the name of the program on the sale receipt.
Q. Can a professional business (e.g., non-retail) owners participate in the program?
A. Yes. It would work the same way. Example: At a property closing, the lawyer participating in the program collects the card information from the client. Back at the office, the information is processed and, say, a rebate for $250, less program fees, is created and credited to your customer. The same procedure applies to a larger trade companies that have several service people going to residents’ homes.
Q. Can I offer a flat dollar discount i.e., $100 off a prepared tax return, $25 off a doctor’s visit, $500 off real estate closing, etc.
Q. Can I use my existing POS system?
A. It depends on the system. If the POS system is not locked and is serviced by our processing company, it will work just fine. Some systems will work only with certain programs.