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 is a nationally renowned property tax attorney and consultant with over 28 years of litigation experience. His practice is specifically focused on valuation and complex property tax litigation at both the local and state levels, and he serves clients that include utility, pipeline, refinery, mining, telecommunication, and rail transportation companies. Peter also provides valuation and litigation consulting services with an emphasis on centrally assessed properties.

Peter has successfully handled property tax matters involving disputes with billions 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 multiple states. Peter also provides due diligence analysis and assists in post-closing issues for a variety of energy clients.

He is a frequent lecturer at conferences and seminars across the country on a wide array of valuation issues and litigation and negotiation strategies and techniques.

Peter’s background, approach, and extensive experience in property tax valuation and litigation allow him to provide the highest quality of 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 New York State and acted on client's behalf in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Tennessee, North Carolina, Minnesota, Arizona, and California.
  • Represents numerous energy and energy-related companies in all aspects of their property tax issues that include due diligence analysis, property tax liability analysis, negotiation, and appeals.
  • Successfully defended a western state's Department of Revenue and several affected counties in a $125 million property tax assessment dispute with an international telecommunications company.
  • Acted as consultant to a western state's DOR 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's DOR with respect to assessment and valuation procedures for centrally assessed telecommunications companies.
  • Retained as an expert consultant to assist an 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, case strategy, and trial preparation.
  • Retained as an expert consultant on valuation issues relating to separate property tax challenges brought by two major refinery companies with respect to a DOR 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 DOR 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 a client on the multi-million valuation of a pipeline, analyzed the purchase price allocation, conducted discovery depositions of senior company executives, and ultimately negotiated a 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 US Supreme Court. Conducted extensive discovery, including dozens of depositions and obtained two separate decisions upholding the states' value in all respects.
  • Successfully represented a client in numerous multi-million property tax cases over the last 12 years.
  • Acted as a consultant to a state on valuation practices and procedures while also analyzing existing assessments for major Class 1 railroads resulting in changes to assessment practices, leading to approximately $8 million in additional revenue for the client.
  • Represented a 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 a client in a major property tax case involving the valuation and assessment of North America's largest copper mine.
  • Represent a client in a multi-million assessment dispute involving the valuation of a major telecommunications company.
  • Represent a 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 & Equitable, Editorial Review Board

Civic Activities

  • Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse, Board of Directors Member
  • Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse, Former Chair
  • Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse, Former Treasurer

Speaking & Publications

  • Wichita State University, “Appraisal for Ad Valorem Taxation of Communications, Energy, and Transportation Properties,” August 2018
  • The Daily Record, "Barclay Damon Wins Tax Case," July 2018
  • Institute for Professionals in Taxation, "Advanced Property Tax Seminar: Valuation Issues for Manufacturing and Industrial Properties," March 2017
  • 31st Annual Western States Association of Tax Administrators Unitary Appraisal School Advanced Course, "Property Tax Litigation Update," January 2017
  • 32nd National Conference of Unit Valuation States, Public Utility Valuation Conference, "Property Tax Legal Updates," October 2016
  • National Conference of Unit Valuation States, "Property Tax Legal Updates," October 2015
  • Western States Association of Tax Administrators, "Committee on Centrally Assessed Properties Property Tax Breakout Session," September 2016
  • 30th Annual National Conference of Unit Valuation States, “2014 Real Property Tax Legal Update on Prominent Cases and Issues Across the Nation," October 2014
  • 29th National Conference of Unit Valuation States, "Recent Cases and Current Legal Issues," October 2013
  • 28th National Conference of Unit Valuation States, "Recent Developments in Discounted Cash Flow Analyses: Should Separate Discount Rates Be Used in Select Liabilities?," October 2012
  • 28th National Conference of Unit Valuation States, "2012 Legal Update of Significant Property Tax Cases Involving Telecommunications, Utilities, Pipelines, and Transportation," October 2012
  • Western States Association of Tax Administrators, Unitary Appraisal School, "An Attorney’s Perspective on the FASB Standards Regard Purchase Price Allocation, Impairment Analyses, Fair Value, and Their Impact on Central Assessment Issues," January 2012
  • National Conference of Unit Valuation States, "An Attorney’s Perspective on the FASB Standards Regarding Purchase Price Allocation, Impairment Analyses, Fair Value and Their Impact on Central Assessment Issues," November 2011
  • National Conference of Unit Valuation States, "2011 Legal Update for Centrally Assessed Properties," November 2011
  • 41st Annual Wichita Program, Appraisal for Ad Valorem Taxation of Communications, Energy, and Transportation Properties Conference, "Case Studies on Recent Railroad and Telecom Acquisitions," August 2011
  • 41st Annual Wichita Program, Appraisal for Ad Valorem Taxation of Communications, Energy, and Transportation Properties Conference, "Litigation War Stories – the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly," August 2011
  • Western States Association of Tax Administrators, Unitary Appraisal School, "An Overview of Cable Telephony and Related FCC Rulings; What Does It All Mean for Central Assessment of These Properties?," January 2011
  • Western States Association of Tax Administrators, Unitary Appraisal School, "Case Study and Review of Decision in PacifiCorp v. State of Montana," January 2011
  • 27th National Conference of Unit Valuation States, "Berkshire Hathaway’s Acquisition of Burlington Northern Santa Fe: An Analysis of Warren Buffett’s 'All-In' Bet on America," November 2010
  • 23rd Annual Unitary Appraisal School Advanced Course, Western States Association of Tax Administrators and Utah State University, “2010 Litigation Update for Centrally Assessed Properties," February 2010
  • 26th National Conference of Unit Valuation States, "Property Tax Litigation Update," October 2009
  • 25th National Conference of Unit Valuation States, "Convergence in the Telecommunications Industry," October 2008
  • 24th National Conference of Unit Valuation States, "Property Tax Litigation Update," October 2007
  • Western State Association of Tax Administrators Conference, "Recent Developments and Trends in Unitary Valuation Litigation," January 2007
  • IAAO Public Utility, Transportation, and Telecommunications Seminar, "Litigation Update," May 2006

Prior Experience

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