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Douglas S. John  

Douglas S. John

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Property Taxation

State and Local Tax

Tax Controversy

Administrative Law

 

Doug John bio

 

Doug John’s law practice focuses on tax controversy and state and local taxation, with an emphasis on property tax counseling and litigation.

A senior partner in the firm, Doug works with individuals and companies to navigate Arizona’s and Nevada’s complex state and local tax systems in order to minimize their income tax, sales and use tax, and property tax liability.

Over the past six years, Doug has reduced his clients’ property tax values by over $2 billion, through a sound knowledge of property tax law, valuation theory and tax assessment practices.

Doug represents clients in all phases of state and local tax litigation, from administrative appeals to court litigation, as well as in appellate matters. He also advises clients on a wide range of state and local tax matters, including multistate income tax issues, nexus issues, and sales and use tax issues.

In the area of property tax, in addition to valuation appeals, Doug represents clients regarding exemptions, tax abatements, tax credits, real property transfer tax, and the real estate tax implications of acquisitions, mergers, development and dispositions, as well as assisting companies with property tax projections.

His state and local clients include individuals and small businesses to Fortune 500 corporations. In property tax matters, his clients represent nearly every segment of the real estate market, including apartments, casinos, department stores, electric cooperatives, golf courses, hotels, industrial warehouses, LIHTC housing, malls, master-planned residential communities, mining operations, office buildings, pipelines, possessory interests, residential developments, senior care/assisted living facilities, and shopping centers.

Representative Matters

In recent years, Doug has represented:

  • the owner of the Summerlin Master Planned Community, achieving a $950 million reduction in tax assessments

  • a developer before the Nevada Supreme Court in the leading case on Nevada’s partial abatement property tax law

  • multiple owners of LIHTC properties in error correction litigation that resulted in over $1 million of property tax refunds

  • a manufacturer of body armor products against a multi-million sales and use assessment that resulted a 97% reduction of the assessment

  • an owner of LIHTC apartments, reducing the valuation of its Arizona property portfolio by 45%

  • a company in litigation over qualification for enterprise zone tax credit

  • a non-profit corporation in litigation, obtaining an exemption that resulted in a $700,000 refund

  • a consortium of power companies in litigation, reducing the taxable value of a decommissioned power plant by $90 million

  • a national industrial warehouse property owner for whom a property tax savings of over $1 million was achieved

  • an auto auction company in tax court litigation that resulted in a 95% reduction of a multi-million-dollar sales tax assessment

  • a consortium of national homebuilders in litigation of the Park Highlands development in North Las Vegas that resulted in a $95 million reduction in taxable value

  • car rental companies at the McCarran Consolidated Car Rental Center in Las Vegas in litigation concerning the assessment of a possessory interest tax, which resulted in over $1.5 million in refunds and a permanent elimination of the possessory interest.

APPEALS

Doug John has represented individuals and taxpayers in the following appellate cases:

  • Loma Mariposa, L.P. v. Santa Cruz County, 2017 WL 6613342 (Ariz. App. 2017)

  • Loma Mariposa II, L.P. v. Santa Cruz County, 2016 WL 6871421 (Ariz. App. 2016)

  • Sulphur Springs Valley Electric Cooperative v. Arizona Dep’t of Rev., 2015 WL 773335 (Ariz. App. 2015)

  • County of Clark v. LB Properties, Inc., 315 P.3d 294,129 Nev. Adv. Op. 96 (2013)

  • Excell Agent Services, LLC v. Arizona Dep’t of Rev., 221 Ariz. 56, 209 P.3d 1052 (Ariz. App. 2008)

  • Ledvina v. Cerasani, 213 Ariz. 569, 146 P.3d 70 (Ariz. App. 2006)

 

Honors and Awards

The Best Lawyers in America®: Tax Litigation and Controversy, 2018

Publications

Arizona Legal Forms: Arizona Commercial Transactions Forms, Vols. 5, 6, & 6A (Thompson Reuters 2004 with Annual Supplement)

“Nevada Sales and Use Taxes” (co-author), Sales and Use Tax Desk Book, 2005-2006 to 2011-2012 (D.M. Young & G Barton eds., American Bar Association)

Presentation

“How Low Will It Go? Strategies for Reducing Property Tax Liability in Distressed Commercial Real Estate Markets,” American Property Tax Counsel (APTC), October 2011

Articles

A Once in a Lifetime Opportunity to Reduce a Property’s Taxes: A Supplemental Notice of Value,” September 2017

5 Tips on Controlling Hotel Property Taxes,” Law360, January 2017

“Tax Amnesty Is Back in Arizona,” September 2016

“Assessing Your 2015 Arizona Property Tax Assessment,” March 2014

“Lower Property Tax Assessments: A Silver Lining for Big Box Stores,” RE Business Online, May 2012

“Value Erosion: Lease Terms Can Impact Property Valuation - But Tax Assessors May Not Realize It,” Commercial Property Executive, April 2012

“Inflated Taxes Threaten Phoenix Property Owners,” National Real Estate Investor, January 2012

“Why Las Vegas Property Owners Should Challenge Their Tax Assessments,” National Real Estate Investor, November 2011

“Is a Consensus Emerging on LIHTC Property Valuations?” Affordable Housing Finance, September 2011

“Taxes Target Green Pastures,” National Real Estate Investor, April 2011

Bar and Court Admissions

Arizona, 2001

Minnesota, 2003

Nevada, 2003

New Mexico, 2017

U.S. District Court, District of Arizona, 2001

U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, 2003

U.S. Tax Court, 2015

U.S. District Court, District of Nevada, 2016

Professional Memberships

State Bar of Arizona

Minnesota State Bar Association

State Bar of Nevada

State Bar of New Mexico

Appraisal Institute: Affiliate Member

International Association of Assessing Officers

Professional Activities

Arizona State Board of Equalization: Member and Administrative Law Judge, 2007-2017

Education

J.D., University of Arizona 2001

M.A., Economics, University of Arizona, 1997

B.A., University of North Carolina, Greensboro, 1986