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California State and Local Taxation

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Everyone knows that California can be a tough place to do business and in California's aggressive and complex tax climate, doing business here increases risk for large enterprises, small businesses, and individuals alike.  Bewley, Lassleben & Miller's California-specific state and local tax practice provides expertise in responding to the frequently thorny issues that arise in connection with sales/use tax, property tax, city business tax, franchise/income tax, and other taxes levied by the State as well as by local municipalities and agencies.

A Nationally Respected California Tax Group

The Firm's California tax practice is respected throughout the United States.  Prior to joining the Firm, Joe Vinatieri served as the Chief Deputy to Ernest Dronenburg, a former Chairman of the California State Board of Equalization, and San Diego County Assessor.

Mr. Vinatieri joins Jason DeMille, Patricia Verdugo, Michael Lebeau, and Benjamin Lee in our California state tax practice.  Emphasizing successful resolution of tax disputes at the audit or administrative appeal level, the Firm's contributions are represented by published decisions of the California State Board of Equalization, and the Courts including:

  • Milhous v. Franchise Tax Board (2005) 131 Cal. App. 4th 1260
  • In the Matter of the Claims for Refund Under the Sales and Use Tax Law of Rhodia, Inc., 2002 Cal. Tax LEXIS 257 (Cal. Tax 2002)
  • In the Matter of the Appeal of Raymond H. and Margaret R. Berner, 2001 Cal. Tax LEXIS 797 (Cal. Tax 2001)
  • In the Matters of the Claims for Refund Under the Sales and Use Tax Law of Hewlett Packard Company, 2000 Cal. Tax LEXIS 131 (Cal. Tax 2000)
  • In re John B. and Christine J. Mumford, 1998 Cal. Tax LEXIS 310 (Cal. Tax 1998)
  • Yamaha v. State Board of Equalization (1998) 19 Cal. 4th 1
  • Chevron USA, Inc. v. State Board of Equalization (1997) 53 Cal. App. 4th 289In the Matter of the Petitions for Redetermination of Embassy Suites, Inc., 1996 Cal. Tax LEXIS 210 (Cal. Tax 1996)
  • In the Matter of the Appeal of Powerine Oil Company, 1985 Cal. Tax LEXIS 96 (Cal. Tax 1985)
  • In the Matter of the Claim for Refund Under the Sales and Use Tax Law of Varian Associates, 1994 Cal. Tax LEXIS 192 (Cal. Tax 1994)
  • In the Matter of the Petition for Redetermination Under the Sales and Use Tax Law of LifeCare Services, Inc., 1993 Cal. Tax LEXIS 339 (Cal. Tax 1993)
  • Gray v. Franchise Tax Board (1991) 235 Cal. App. 3d 36

California Local Tax Expertise

With the extensive knowledge and experience of the Firm’s California tax practice, the Firm actively engages in local tax issues including business license taxes, valuation disputes before county assessment appeals boards and the State Board of Equalization, avoidance of change in ownership reassessments under Proposition 13, and litigation of property tax disputes before the Courts.

The Firm has resolved numerous local tax matters before county assessment appeals boards, the State Board of Equalization, and the Courts including:

  • Reducing escape assessments (back taxes) on late-filed BOE-100-B property statements resulting in the cancellation of over $1.5 million in back taxes;
  • Cancellation of new construction assessments after an office fire (Moushoul v. County of Los Angeles (Los Angeles Superior Court Case No. BC649945) 2019 Cal. Super. LEXIS 9068); and,
  • Application of Solar Energy New Construction Exclusion (Rev. & Tax. Code §73) to a 250 MV facility in San Bernardino County
  • Raytheon Co. v. County of Los Angeles (2008) 159 Cal. App. 4th 27
  • Macy’s Dept. Stores, Inc. v. City and County of San Francisco (2006) 143 Cal. App. 4th 1444 (2006)
  • Northrop Grumman Corp. v. County of Los Angeles (2005) 134 Cal. App. 4th 424
  • Hughes Aircraft Company v. County of Orange (2002) 96 Cal. App. 4th 540
  • Union Oil v. City of Los Angeles (2000) 79 Cal. App. 4th 383

We Set Precedent in California Tax Litigation

The Firm brings value to its clients by emphasizing resolution at the lowest possible administrative level.  However, when tax disputes cannot be resolved in the administrative law process, Bewley, Lassleben & Miller's California tax-law practice has led to many precedent-setting, favorable outcomes in trial and appellate courts.  In this regard, Firm attorneys have litigated extensively in each of the areas of sales/use, property, franchise, and city business tax, serving as lead trial counsel in cases such as:

  • Raytheon Co. v. County of Los Angeles (2008) 159 Cal. App. 4th 27
  • Macy’s Dept. Stores, Inc. v. City and County of San Francisco (2006) 143 Cal. App. 4th 1444 (2006)
  • Northrop Grumman Corp. v. County of Los Angeles (2005) 134 Cal. App. 4th 424
  • Milhous v. Franchise Tax Board (2005) 131 Cal. App. 4th 1260
  • Hughes Aircraft Company v. County of Orange (2002) 96 Cal. App. 4th 540
  • Union Oil v. City of Los Angeles (2000) 79 Cal. App. 4th 383
  • Yamaha v. State Board of Equalization (1998) 19 Cal. 4th 1
  • Chevron USA, Inc. v. State Board of Equalization (1997) 53 Cal. App. 4th 289
  • Gray v. Franchise Tax Board (1991) 235 Cal. App. 3d 36

Richard Dewberry and Leighton Anderson have extensive experience in the litigation of state and local tax matters in California.  Mr. Dewberry was lead counsel in In the Matter of the Appeal of Raymond H. and Margaret R. Berner, 2001 Cal. Tax LEXIS 797 (Cal. Tax 2001).

Our state and local tax practice has resulted in millions of dollars of tax savings and refunds for our clients who include:

 

  • Anheuser-Busch Company
  • The Boeing Company
  • Costco Wholesale
  • United Launch Alliance
  • Space Exploration Technologies
  • Starbucks
  • Home Depot
  • GE Aviation
  • IBM
  • Simon Properties

Contact our law office in Whittier, CA today

For help with California taxation matters, contact our dedicated team of attorneys today.
Our law office is conveniently located in Whittier.

Taxation Blog

California Department of Tax and Fee Administration Finally Initiates Formal Regulatory Process for Proposed Revisions to Regulation 1684.5, Marketplace Sales

In the aftermath of the decision in South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. (2018) 138 S.Ct. 2080 (“Wayfair”), states across the country have implemented new rules and regulations regarding the collection of use tax from out-of-state taxpayers that sell tangible personal property using the internet.  California’s agency responsible for the administration and collection of sales and use tax,

Joe Co-presents at the IPT 2022 Property Tax Symposium in Tucson, Arizona

Joe co-presented at the IPT 2022 Property Tax Symposium in sunny Tucson, Arizona this past week. In their presentation, “Wild West of Property Valuations: Analyzing and Valuing Non-Traditional Properties,” Joe and the panelists discussed valuation of unusual properties such as rocket launch pads, marijuana growing facilities, and breweries, to name a few.  Certainly, an interesting topic!

Rare Taxpayer Victory at the Office of Tax Appeals

If your company has been paying use tax liability in California based on the fair rental value on out-of-state leases of tanks and other containers, a recent Office of Tax Appeals opinion could offer an opportunity for some tax relief.

 

In a pending opinion released last month, Appeal of Adler Tank Rentals,

The Vast Reach of California Tax: A Dispute Over the Taxation of Nonresident Trusts’ Gain from Sale of Out-of-State S Corporation’s Subsidiary

On May 27, 2022, the Fourth District Court of Appeal issued a published decision in The 2009 Metropoulos Family Trust et al., v. California Franchise Tax Board, 2022 WL 1702336 (Cal.App. 4 Dist., 2022) (“Metropoulos”), upholding the trial court’s decision that a nonresident shareholder’s gain from an S corporation’s sale of goodwill is subject to tax in California.

Joe Co-presents at the IPT 2022 Sales Tax Symposium in Boston, Massachusetts

Joe co-presented at the IPT 2022 Sales Tax Symposium in Boston, Massachusetts on the topic of Medical Products and Prescriptions-What’s Changed?  During Covid, many states provided some relief which to great extent has now expired.  However, there are opportunities on audit.  Additionally, across many of the states, there are still major issues relative to prosthetic devices and whether exemptions are only applicable if those devices are “fully worn.” Peppered into the presentation were a number of quiz questions and the ultimate winner won a New England Patriots Adam Vinatieri bobble-head which will be very valuable when Adam is voted into the NFL Hall-of-Fame first round,

Nontaxable Escape from Taxifornia?

Are you one of the many Californians thinking about moving out of California to escape the high tax burdens of our state? With the rise of remote work and the plethora of opportunities across the country, recently released California Department of Finance figures provide an estimate that California’s population declined by more than 352,000 between April 1,