Barclay Damon
Barclay Damon

Peter J. Crossett

Peter J. Crossett

Partner

p: 315-425-2814

f: 315-425-8564

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Syracuse Office

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

Peter Crossett is a nationally-renowned property tax attorney and consultant. His law practice is specifically focused on valuation and complex property tax litigation at both the local and state level involving utility, pipeline, refinery, mining, telecommunication and rail transportation companies. Peter also provides valuation and litigation consulting services to a number of clients with an emphasis on centrally assessed properties. He is a frequent lecturer at conferences and seminars all across the country on a wide array of valuation issues as well as litigation and negotiation strategies and techniques. Peter has more than 23 years of litigation experience and has successfully handled property tax matters for clients involving disputes with billions of dollars in assessed value at issue. He regularly appears before administrative tax courts and other state and federal trial and appellate courts and is currently involved in a number of matters in the eastern, mid-western and western states.

Peter’s background, approach and extensive experience in the field of complex property tax valuation and litigation allows him to provide the highest quality service to his clients in an efficient and professional manner.

Representative Experience

  • Represents one of the largest publicly-traded pure play renewable energy companies in handling all property tax issues related to their ownership of 75 hydroelectric facilities throughout NY state and acted on client's behalf in ME, MA, NH, TN, NC, MN, AZ and CA.
  • Successfully defended Western State Department of Revenue and several affected counties in $125 million dollar property tax assessment dispute with an international telecommunications company.
  • Acted as consultant to a Western State Department of Revenue with respect to rules proceedings for the valuation and assessment of telecommunications companies including recommendations on draft rules and proposed changes to existing rules.
  • Acted as a primary consultant to a Midwestern State Department of Revenue with respect to assessment and valuation procedures for centrally assessed telecommunications companies.
  • Retained as expert consultant to assist Attorney General’s office in litigation brought by two major telecommunications companies regarding a challenge to administrative rule changes on the valuation of telecommunications properties. Assisted defense in coordination of experts, discovery, review of expert reports for all parties and case strategy and trial preparation.
  • Retained as expert consultant on valuation issues relating to separate property tax challenges brought by two major refinery companies with respect to State Department of Revenue’s valuation and assessment of the refineries. Assisted Attorney General’s office in review and analysis of expert reports, discovery and case strategy.
  • Successfully represented the Arizona Department of Revenue in multiple centrally assessed property tax cases by a variety of telecommunications companies. In one of the largest property tax disputes, over $400 million in potential refunds was at stake. All of the cases were either successfully resolved through settlement negotiations or tried to conclusion with a complete victory for the client. In a significant written decision the Department's values were completely upheld and all appeals were ultimately denied. 
  • Assisted and advised client on the multi-million dollar valuation of pipeline, analyzed purchase price allocation, conducted discovery depositions of senior company executives and ultimately negotiated property tax settlement prior to opening statements at trial. 
  • Acted as lead counsel for the state government in defending multiple property tax challenges brought by major railway corporations involving billions in disputed assessment values. Successfully handled all discovery and ultimately negotiated favorable settlements. 
  • Represented a state government in major railroad property tax litigation that ultimately went all the way up the United States Supreme Court. Conducted extensive discovery including dozens of depositions and obtained two separate decisions upholding the states' value in all respects. 
  • Successfully represented client in numerous multi-million dollar property tax cases over the last 12 years. 
  • Acted as consultant to state on valuation practices and procedures while also analyzing existing assessments for major Class 1 railroads resulting in changes to assessment practices resulting in an estimated $8 million in additional revenue for client. 
  • Represented state DOR over the last seven years on numerous property tax cases involving telecommunication companies, utilities, refineries, etc. Also provided consulting services on assessment practices and procedures as well as valuation issues. 
  • Represent client in major property tax case involving the valuation and assessment of North America's largest copper mine. 
  • Represent client in multi-million dollar assessment dispute involving the valuation of a major telecommunications company.
  • Represent utility in property tax dispute resulting in refunds in excess of $1.5 million.

Practice Areas

Education

  • DePaul University College of Law, J.D., 1989
  • State University of New York at Geneseo, B.A., 1986

Admitted To Practice

  • New York, 1990
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York

Memberships & Affiliations

  • New York State Bar Association
  • Onondaga County Bar Association
  • National Conference of Unit Valuation States
  • International Association of Assessing Officers, Fair and Equitable Magazine, Editorial Review Board

Civic Activities

  • Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse, Board of Directors, past Chair and Treasurer

Speaking & Publications

  • "2014 Real Property Tax Legal Update On Prominent Cases and Issues Across the Nation," 30th Annual National Conference of Unit Valuation States, October 2014
  • "Recent Cases and Current Legal Issues," 29th National Conference of Unit Valuation States, October 2013
  • "Recent Developments in Discounted Cash Flow Analyses: Should Separate Discount Rates Be Used in Select Liabilities?," 28th National Conference of Unit Valuation States, October 2012
  • "2012 Legal Update of Significant Property Tax Cases Involving Telecommunications, Utilities, Pipelines and Transportation," 28th National Conference of Unit Valuation States, October 2012
  • "An Attorney’s Perspective on the FASB Standards Regard Purchase Price Allocation, Impairment Analyses, Fair Value and Their Impact on Central Assessment Issues," Western States Association of Tax Administrators, Unitary Appraisal School, January 2012
  • "An Attorney’s Perspective on the FASB Standards Regarding Purchase Price Allocation, Impairment Analyses, Fair Value and Their Impact on Central Assessment Issues," National Conference of Unit Valuation States, November 2011
  • "2011 Legal Update for Centrally Assessed Properties," National Conference of Unit Valuation States, November 2011
  • "Case Studies on Recent Railroad and Telecom Acquisitions," 41st Annual Wichita Program, Appraisal for Ad Valorem Taxation of Communications, Energy and Transportation Properties Conference, August 2011
  • "Litigation War Stores – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly," 41st Annual Wichita Program, Appraisal for Ad Valorem Taxation of Communications, Energy and Transportation Properties Conference, August 2011
  • "An Overview of Cable Telephony and Related FCC Rulings; What Does It All Mean For Central Assessment of These Properties?," Western States Association of Tax Administrators, Unitary Appraisal School, January 2011
  • "Case Study and Review of Decision in PacifiCorp v. State of Montana," Western States Association of Tax Administrators, Unitary Appraisal School, January 2011
  • "Berkshire Hathaway’s Acquisition of Burlington Northern Santa Fe: An Analysis of Warren Buffett’s 'All-In' Bet on America," 27th National Conference of Unit Valuation States, November 2010
  • "2010 Litigation Update for Centrally Assessed Properties," 23rd Annual Unitary Appraisal School Advanced Course Speaker, Western States Association of Tax Administrators and Utah State University, February 2010
  • "Property Tax Litigation Update," 26th National Conference of Unit Valuation States, October 2009
  • "Convergence in the Telecommunications Industry," 25th National Conference of Unit Valuation States, October 2008
  • "Property Tax Litigation Update," 24th National Conference of Unit Valuation States, October 2007
  • "Recent Developments and Trends in Unitary Valuation Litigation," Western State Association of Tax Administrators Conference, January 2007
  • "Litigation Update," IAAO Public Utility, Transportation and Telecommunications Seminar, May 2006

Honors

  • Martindale-Hubbell “BV” Peer Review Rated for High to Very High Ethical Standards and Legal Ability

Prior Experience

  • Hiscock & Barclay, LLP, Partner
  • Hancock & Estabrook, LLP, Partner