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State & Local Tax Litigation

As states continue to struggle to locate additional revenue, state and local taxing authorities continue to pursue taxpayers to make up budget shortfalls. They use a variety of mechanisms, ranging from overly-broad interpretations of state statutes and local ordinances to aggressive, unyielding positions in litigation. Our State and Local Tax (SALT) attorneys are the "go-to" people for SALT controversies in Kentucky.

With tax experience, in-depth litigation experience, and a well-known presence in Kentucky’s capital, we are uniquely positioned to achieve success for our clients. We represent a number of large multi-state, multi-national corporations in complex SALT matters, and routinely and successfully represent many other businesses and individuals on a wide variety of tax issues.

Stites & Harbison SALT attorneys regularly appear before the Kentucky Department of Revenue, Board of Tax Appeals and all levels of the courts regarding state income, sales and use, property, severance and other taxes. Our attorneys are involved in all stages of the tax assessment process. We provide our clients with support on audit issues; representation and negotiations of appeals before the taxing authority; and litigation before administrative and judicial tribunals. Recognizing that litigation is not always the best outcome for a taxpayer, we engage in negotiations with the taxing authorities in attempt to obtain a favorable settlement for our clients. However, if settlement is not possible, we stand ready to litigate the issues in order to obtain the best possible outcome.

Stites & Harbison is the Kentucky member firm of the American Property Tax Counsel, the national affiliation of property tax attorneys.

Recent engagements

  • Assisted a retailer in reducing a sales and use tax assessment of $3.4M to a maximum potential tax liability of $.9M
  • Helped a manufacturing client reduce an assessment from sales and use tax audit by 74%
  • Negotiated a $4.5M reduction in an income tax assessment, resulting in our client paying 33% of original assessment
  • Aided a client in negotiating a $12M reduction in a property tax assessment
  • Represented numerous clients in their appeals of tangible personal and real property tax assessments, resulting in significant savings for clients.
  • Obtained a 40% reduction in the real property tax assessment for a major office property
  • Obtained a $24 million reduction in the real property tax assessment for a major office property
  • Assisted a client in obtaining a tax moratorium for redevelopment of an apartment complex
  • Negotiated a 95% reduction in a tangible property tax assessment for a manufacturer

Recent presentations and publications

  • "Co-Chair, Institute for Professionals in Taxation/American Bar Association Advanced Property Tax Seminar Committee," 2010-present
  • "Multi-State Property Tax Update and Roundtable Discussion," ABA/IPT Advanced Property Tax Seminar, March 2013
  • "Discussion of State Tax Cases and Issues to Watch in 2011," COST Midwest Regional State Tax Seminar, June 2011
  • "Kentucky Property Tax," Kentucky Housing Management Conference, Louisville, Ky., May 2011
  • "Tangible Property Tax Audits & Protests," Kentucky State Tax Conference, Kentucky Society of CPAs, January 2011
  • "Applying Old Rules to New Technology - An Update on Taxation of Digital Goods & Services," Mid-West Regional State Tax Seminar, Cincinnati, Oh., August 11, 2010
  • "Special Report—Audits, Protests and Settlements—Oh My!!," Council on State Taxation (COST), Midwest Regional Conference, St. Louis, Mo., December 2009
  • "Property Tax in Kentucky," Lorman Educational Services, 2008
  • "SALT Challenges of the Digital Age," Council on State Taxation Midwest Regional State Tax Seminar, December 2008
  • "Perspectives on Contesting Real Property Tax Assessments - Value Is In the Eye of the Beholder," Kentucky Society of Certified Public Accountants, January 2007
  • Presenter on current state and local tax issues at numerous conferences sponsored by the Council on State Taxation
  • Symposium Edition Editorial Board: The State and Local Tax Lawyer (ABA Publication)
  • “Judicial Review of Administrative Decisions,” Kentucky Civil Practice After Trial (3rd Ed. 2011)
Main Contacts
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Press Releases

Stites & Harbison Law Firm Moves to a New Memphis Location

MEMPHIS, Tenn.—Stites & Harbison, PLLC, has moved its Memphis law office from the Memphis Bioworks area to International Place, 6410 Poplar Avenue, Suite 180. “We are excited about the move, and are thrilled to be...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC September 28, 2018
Press Releases

Best Lawyers in America honors 72 Stites & Harbison attorneys for 2019

LOUISVILLE, Ky.—The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 has recognized 72 Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorneys as selected by their peers in 49 areas of practice. Forty-two of those attorneys selected have been honored for 1...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 16, 2018
Press Releases

Kentucky Horse Park Foundation elects Andy Jacobs as Vice-Chair

LEXINGTON, Ky.—The Kentucky Horse Park Foundation recently elected Stites & Harbison, PLLC attorney Andy Jacobs as Vice-Chair of its Board of Directors. Jacobs is a Member (Partner) of Stites & Harbison based in Lexington, Ky...
by Stites & Harbison, PLLC August 07, 2018