Barclay Damon
Barclay Damon

Debra C. Sullivan

Debra C. Sullivan

Partner

p: 315.413.7122

f: 315.703.7375

icon_email debra.sullivan@barclaydamon.com
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Syracuse Office

Barclay Damon Tower
125 East Jefferson Street
Syracuse, New York 13202

Debra offers over two decades of experience representing developers, property owners, and taxing authorities in property valuation disputes before boards of assessment review and state supreme and appellate courts. She primarily counsels on matters involving administrative assessment challenges, Real Property Tax Law Article 7 proceedings, eligibility for real property tax exemptions, and eminent domain concerns.

In the energy arena, Debra has a broad base of experience representing clients in matters involving the valuation and assessment of a wide array of energy assets and infrastructure for real property tax purposes and related litigation. Debra handles issues involving hydroelectric, biomass, wind, and fossil fuel electric generation; electric transmission and distribution facilities; and supporting infrastructure such as substations. She also represents clients in eminent domain proceedings that involve the siting of electric transmission facilities.

Debra represents a wide variety of clients that include developers and owners of apartment complexes, condominium properties, golf courses, manufacturing and warehouse properties, office buildings, retail plazas, and shopping malls.

Representative Experience

  • Secured a real property tax exemption for a not-for-profit entity, saving the owner $400,000 annually in real property taxes.
  • Obtained summary judgment under the provisions of RPTL 581-a for an owner of an affordable housing complex.
  • Negotiated numerous settlements of real property tax assessment disputes involving significant refunds.
  • Defended municipalities in tax assessment review proceedings involving state-owned land, hydroelectric facilities, shopping centers, and various commercial properties.
  • Representing a client in real property tax assessment review proceedings involving the valuation of a 322 MW wind farm.
  • Represented multiple clients in real property tax assessment review proceedings involving the valuation of hydroelectric facilities located on three river systems.
  • Served as counsel to numerous clients in real property tax assessment review proceedings involving the valuation of electric transmission and distribution facilities, including substations.
  • Represented a client in real property tax assessment review proceedings involving exemption and valuation issues on a 600 MW coal-fired steam station.
  • Served as counsel to a client in real property tax assessment review proceedings involving the valuation of a 60 MW biomass cogeneration facility.
  • Represented condemnors and claimants in eminent domain proceedings related to electric transmission property.
  • Represented a client in connection with valuation issues related to a 39.5 MW waste-to-energy cogeneration facility.

Practice Areas

Education

  • Vanderbilt Law School, J.D., Vanderbilt Law Review, Editor
  • Colleges of William & Mary, B.A., Phi Beta Kappa

Admitted To Practice

  • New York

Memberships & Affiliations

  • New York State Bar Association

Civic Activities

  • Christian Brothers Academy, Mock Trial Coach

Speaking & Publications

  • New York State Bar Association, “Real Property Tax assessment Litigation and Appeals” CLE, March 2018
  • Oswego County Bar Association “The Nuts and Bolts of Real Property Tax Assessment Challenges” CLE, September 2017
  • New York State Real Property Tax System Alliance, “Understanding Real Property Tax Assessment Review Proceedings in NYS: A Primer for Municipal Officials"
  • IAO Journal, “The 1995 Amendments to the Real Property Tax Law”
  • IAO Journal, “Utility Companies Challenge Local Assessments”
  • The Monthly Digest of Tax Articles, “The 1988 Amendment to 26 USC Section 7430: Expanding Taxpayers’ Rights to Recover Costs in Tax Controversies”

Prior Experience

  • Menter, Rudin & Trivelpiece, P.C., Counsel
  • Sidney Devorsetz, PLLC
  • Hancock & Estabrook, LLP