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National Association of Property Tax Attorneys

Mark F. Sommer

Member Frost Brown Todd LLC
Work 400 West Market Street 3200 Aegon Center Louisville Kentucky 40202 Work Phone: 502-779-8150 Work Fax: 502-581-1087 Website: Visit our website

Biography

Photo of Mark F. Sommer

Mark F. Sommer, Esq., is a Partner of the Firm and tax attorney resident in the Louisville office of the law firm of Frost Brown Todd LLC, where he leads the Firm’s Tax Teams. Now in his 28th year of private practice on a national scale, Mr. Sommer’s comprehensive practice focuses on controversy, litigation and planning relating to tax matters, primarily state and local tax matters and incentives. He has been involved as counsel in well over a thousand controversies and disputes regarding countless tax issues before the administrative and judicial systems of numerous jurisdictions and assisted in hundreds of transactions and planning situations providing strategic advice.

Mr. Sommer is a Fellow in the American College of Tax Counsel, one of only seven from the Commonwealth of Kentucky and also is a recognized “Super Lawyer” in Kentucky. Mr. Sommer has also been recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America for twenty years in Tax Law and in Litigation and Controversy – Tax and was honored by State Tax Notes as one of its two “Practitioners of the Year” in 2015 and one of its “Persons of the Year” in 2013, making him the first person so recognized two times. He serves on several American Bar Association, Section of Taxation committees and projects, currently serving as Vice-Chair of the Committee on State and Local Tax. He also serves on the Advisory Boards of the Paul J. Hartman Memorial State and Local Tax Forum at Vanderbilt University, the Journal of State Taxation, the Deloitte Center for Multistate Taxation at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the Bloomberg BNA Multistate Tax Advisory Council, the CCH Multistate Corporate Tax Guide and State Tax Notes. Mr. Sommer has written extensively in the area of state and local taxation. His articles have appeared in numerous publications, including authoring the Kentucky Chapter of the ABA’s Property Tax Deskbook, various Council on State Taxation (COST) publications, State Tax Notes, The Journal of State Taxation, Tax Notes, The Journal of Property Taxation, Bloomberg BNA’s Multistate Tax Advisor, The Tax Lawyer and many others. He was also the Contributing Editor for CCH’s Guidebook to Kentucky Taxes(all editions), and serves as General Editor of Lexis Nexis Tax Practicing Insights for Kentucky. Mr. Sommer is a frequent speaker and lecturer on state and local tax matters at conferences, forums and groups such as the Hartman SALT Forum, Deloitte & Touche Multi-State Tax Institute, Kentucky Society of CPAs, COST, Tax Executives Institute, Georgetown’s Advanced State and Local Tax Conference, Ohio Tax Conference, Kentucky Bar Association (past Tax Section Chair), Louisville Bar Association (past Tax Section Chair), and the American Bar Association. Mr. Sommer previously served as Chair of the SEATA Industry Council and also as a Director and Vice-Chairman of the Kentucky Lottery Corporation.

Mr. Sommer obtained his J.D. from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and his B.S.B.A. from Xavier University.

Notes

Recent Cases:
Successfully counseled and advocated in hundreds of federal, state and local tax controversy and planning matters, both administratively and in litigation, involving multiple types of businesses, entities, trusts and individual taxpayers wherein collectively hundreds of millions of dollars were at risk. Actively involved in the following significant tax cases:
• Ford Motor Credit Co. v. Dep’t of Treasury, No 10-481 (U.S. Jan. 18, 2011) (cert. denied) (served as amici curiae counsel on behalf of U.S. Chamber of Commerce et al. in case concerning the constitutionality of retroactive state tax legislation)
• Bavarian Trucking Co., Inc. v. Dep’t of Revenue, File No. K09-R-16, Order No. K-21008 (KBTA Dec. 9, 2010), on appeal, No. 10-CI-3173 (Boone Cir. Ct., Div. I) (first impression action involving Kentucky recycling tax credits and a methane producing landfill)
• Freeman v. St. Andrew Orthodox Church, Inc., Nos. 2006-CA-000305 and 2006-CA-000458 (Ky. App. Aug. 10, 2007), on appeal, No. 2007-SC-000640-DG (Ky. May 21, 2009), Petition for Rehearing denied, (Ky. Oct. 29, 2009), on remand, File Nos. K03-S-08, K04-S-61, K05-S-02, K06-S-09, K07-S-12 and K08-S-48, Order No. K-21096 (KBTA Mar. 16, 2011), on appeal, Civil Action No. 11-CI-389 (first impression issue on scope of Kentucky constitutional exemption for property owned by churches)
• Ford Motor Co. v. Jefferson County Prop. Valuation Adm’r, File Nos. K08-S-166 and K09-S-338, Order No. K-20934 (KBTA Sept. 22, 2010) (largest manufacturing plant real property tax valuation case tried in Kentucky)
• Revenue Cabinet v. Asworth Corp., et al., Nos. 2007-CA-002549 & 2008-CA-000023 (Ky. App. Nov. 20, 2009), review denied, No. 2009-SC-000816 (Ky. Aug. 18, 2010), cert. denied, No. 10-662 (U.S. Jan. 24, 2011), pet. for rehearing denied (U.S. Mar. 21, 2011) (first impression case on taxation (physical presence nexus and apportionment) of flow-through entities for Kentucky corporation income tax)
• Monumental Life Ins. Co. v. Dep’t of Revenue, 294 S.W.3d 10 (Ky. App. 2008), review denied, No. 2008-SC-000739 (Ky.), cert. denied, No. 09-865 (U.S. Mar. 29, 2010) (first impression action on ERISA preemption and ad valorem intangibles taxation of domestic life insurance companies)
• Johnson Controls, Inc. et al. v. Miller, No. 09-981 (U.S. Feb. 20, 2010), cert. denied (served as amicus curiae counsel on behalf of Kentucky Chamber of Commerce in case concerning the constitutionality of retroactive state tax legislation)
• AT&T Corp. and Subsidiaries v. Finance and Admin. Cabinet, Dep’t of Revenue, No. 08-CI-01272 (Jefferson Cir. Ct., Sept. 9, 2008), on appeal, No. 2008-CA-1888 (Ky. App.) (first impression case on composition of elective consolidated group for Kentucky corporation income tax purposes)
• Amazon.com, Inc. v. Dep’t of Revenue, No. 07-CI-2018 (Franklin Cir. Ct. 2008) (first impression issue on abuse of discretion and privilege standards in corporate income tax factor relief proceeding)
• Monumental Life Ins. Co. v. Dep’t of Revenue, 201 S.W.3d 500 (Ky. App. 2006) (first impression issue concerning duty of administrative agency such as KBTA to develop and maintain administrative record)
• General Electric Co. v. Jefferson County PVA, Order No. K-18745, 2002 WL 31318636 (KBTA October 8, 2002) (second largest manufacturing plant real property ad valorem tax valuation case tried in Kentucky)
• Louisville Forge & Gear Works, LLC v. Scott County, Order No. K-17821, 2000 WL 261142 (KBTA Mar. 1, 2000) (first impression real property ad valorem tax case on “value in use” standard)
• Inland Container Corporation v. Mason County Board of Education, 6 S.W.3d 374 (Ky. 1999) (served as amicus curiae counsel in lead case on ability to recover local tax overpayment from local taxing authorities)
• Herschel St. Ledger, et al., v. Revenue Cabinet, 912 S.W.2d 34 (Ky. 1995) & 942 S.W.2d 893 (1997) (served as amicus curiae counsel in landmark case on constitutionality of ad valorem intangibles tax exemption on corporate stock
• GTE and Subsidiaries v. Revenue Cabinet, 889 S.W.2d 788 (Ky. 1995) (served as amicus curiae counsel in lead case affirming use of unitary method of corporate filing)
• Joy Technologies, Inc. v. Revenue Cabinet, 838 S.W.2d 406 (Ky. App. 1992) (nationwide first impression case on application of sales tax to labor in component exchange program)
• Southwire Co. v. Revenue Cabinet, Ky. App., 777 S.W.2d 635 (1988) (first impression case on net operating loss carry backs)

Speeches & Publications:

• Presenter, “Tax Traps for the Non-Tax Lawyer,” CSX Corporation Legal Department Retreat (March 2012)
• Presenter, “State Tax Increment Financing and Incentives,” ABA 2012 Joint Fall CLE Meeting (September 2012)
• Moderator, “Kentucky Reform Mania: First Economic Development, Now Taxes,” Kentucky Bar Association 2012 Annual Convention, Louisville, Kentucky June 2012)
• Contributor, “Kentucky State and Local Tax Developments,” COST 2012 Spring Audit Session/Income Tax Conference, Washington, D.C. (May 2012)
• Presenter, “Kentucky Tax Advantages For Being Green, Recycling and the Like….,” Kentucky Chamber of Commerce 10th Annual Kentucky Environmental Conference, Lexington, Kentucky (March 2012)
• Presenter, “Kentucky Litigation and Tax Case Update,” KyCPA Kentucky State Tax Conference, Louisville, Kentucky (January 2012)
• Presenter, “SALT and Federal Tax Issues in Identifying, Negotiating and Entering Into Incentives Projects,” ABA Section on Taxation 2011 Joint Fall CLE Meeting, Denver, Colorado (October 2011)
• Presenter, “Adding Value Through Credits and Incentives,” Council on State Taxation 42nd Annual Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana (October 2011)
• Panelist, “Southeast Roundtable – Kentucky Update,” 18th Annual Paul J. Hartman Vanderbilt University State and Local Tax Forum, Nashville, Tennessee (October 2011)
• Presenter, “Avoiding Ethical Missteps and Practice Pitfalls in Creating, Maintaining and Protecting State Income Tax Audit Files and Handling Opinion Letters After Textron, et al.,” KyCPA Webinar Presentation, Louisville, Kentucky (July 2011)
• Presenter, “Top State Income Tax Cases and Issues To Watch in 2011,” SEATA 61st Annual Conference, Louisville, Kentucky (June 2011)
• Presenter, “Avoiding Ethical Missteps and Practice Pitfalls in Creating, Maintaining and Protecting State Income Tax Audit Files and Handling Opinion Letters After Textron, et al.,” KyCPA’s Annual Members Meeting, Bowling Green, Kentucky (June 2011)
• Contributor, “Kentucky State Developments,” COST 2011 Spring Audit Session & Income Tax Conference, Santa Ana Pueblo, New Mexico (May 2011)
• Presenter, “Foreign Trade Zones – How Can Zones Save My Company Money,” webinar for the World Trade Center of Kentucky Trade Education, Louisville, Kentucky (March 2011)
• Presenter, “Kentucky Litigation and Tax Case Update,” KyCPA Kentucky State Tax Conference, Louisville, Kentucky (January 2011)
• Panelist, “Southeast Roundtable – Kentucky Update,” 17th Annual Paul J. Hartman Vanderbilt University State and Local Tax Forum, Nashville, Tennessee (November 2010)
• Presenter, “Best Practices for Creating, Maintaining and Protecting State Income Tax Audit Files and Handling Opinion Letters After Textron,” COST 41st Annual Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona (October 2010)
• Presenter, “Captive Insurance: What Is It and Is It Right for Your Client,” NASBTS 31st Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California (October 2010)
• Contributor, “Kentucky State Developments,” COST 2010 Fall Audit Session & Income Tax Conference, Orlando, Florida (October 2010)
• Contributor, “Kentucky State Developments,” COST 2010 Spring Audit Session & Income Tax Conference, Cambridge, Massachusetts (May 2010)
• Presenter, “Kentucky Litigation and Tax Case Update,” KyCPA Kentucky State Tax Conference, Louisville, Kentucky (January 2010)
• Presenter, “Ethical Challenges Facing State Tax Professionals Dealing with States in Budget Crisis,” COST 40th Annual Meeting, Las Vegas, Nevada(October 2009)
• Panelist, “Southeast Roundtable – Kentucky Update,” 16th Annual Paul J. Hartman Vanderbilt University State and Local Tax Forum, Nashville, Tennessee (September 2009)
• Presenter, “Promises Made/Promises Broken – Planning for State and Local Tax Incentives in Recessionary Time – Say No to Clawbacks,”16th Annual Paul J. Hartman Vanderbilt University State and Local Tax Forum, Nashville, Tennessee (September 2009)
• Presenter, “Business Incentives: Cash, Credits & Clawbacks,” KPMG TaxWatch Webcast (June 2009)
• Contributor, “Kentucky State Developments,” COST 2009 Spring Audit Session & Income Tax Conference, Cambridge, Massachusetts (May 2009)
• Presenter, “Kentucky Litigation and Tax Case Update,” KyCPA Kentucky State Tax Conference, Louisville, Kentucky (January 2009)
• Presenter, “SALT Incentives in a Down Economy – Say No to Clawback,” ABA Section on Taxation 2009 Mid-Year Meeting, New Orleans, Louisiana (January 2009)
• Panel Moderator, “Gone Green Yet?: Incentives and Credits for Sustainability Initiatives,” 15th Annual Paul J. Hartman Vanderbilt University State and Local Tax Forum, Nashville, Tennessee (October 2008)
• Panelist, “Southeast Roundtable – Kentucky Update,” 15th Annual Paul J. Hartman Vanderbilt University State and Local Tax Forum, Nashville, Tennessee (October 2008)
• Contributor, “Kentucky State Developments,” COST 2008 Annual Fall Audit Session & Income Tax Conference, Orlando, Florida (October 2008)
• Presenter, “Ethics Session – Correction of Errors, Treas. Reg. § 9100 Relief,” NASBTS 29th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California (October 2008)
• Presenter, “Kentucky Litigation and Tax Case Update,” Tax Executives Institute (TEI) Kentucky Conference, Frankfort, Kentucky (April 2008)
• Presenter, “Kentucky Litigation and Tax Case Update,” KyCPA Kentucky State Tax Conference, Louisville, Kentucky (January 2008)
• Presenter, “Regional Update Roundtable – Kentucky Update,” 50th Annual Kentucky Institute on Federal Taxation and Regional State Update, Louisville, Kentucky (November 2007)
• Panelist, “Southeast Roundtable – Kentucky Update,” 14th Annual Paul J. Hartman Vanderbilt University State and Local Tax Forum, Nashville, Tennessee (October 2007)
• Contributor, “Kentucky State Developments,” COST 2007 Spring Audit Session & Income Tax Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana (May 2007)
• Presenter, “Kentucky Income Taxation of Federal ‘Pass-Through Entities’,” 11th University of Kentucky College of Law Biennial Business Associations Law Institute, Louisville, Kentucky (February 2007)
• Presenter, “Kentucky Litigation and Tax Case Update – Dispatched From the Front Line,” KyCPA Kentucky State Tax Conference, Louisville, Kentucky(January 2007)
• Presenter, “Kentucky Tax Modernization – Act One and Act Two,” 16th Annual Southwestern Ohio Tax Institute, Cincinnati, Ohio (December 2006)
• Presenter, “Cuno Update,” 27th Annual NASBTS Meeting, San Francisco, California (October 2006)
• Panel Moderator, “Credits/Incentives,” IPT 2006 Income Tax Symposium, San Diego, California (October 2006)
• Panelist, “Southeast Roundtable – Kentucky Update,” 13th Annual Paul J. Hartman Vanderbilt University State and Local Tax Forum, Nashville, Tennessee (October 2006)
• Panel Moderator, “Alternative Tax Systems – Ohio, Kentucky and New Jersey,” 13th Annual Paul J. Hartman Vanderbilt University State and Local Tax Forum, Nashville, Tennessee (October 2006)
• Contributor, “Kentucky State Developments,” COST 37th Annual Meeting, San Francisco, California (October, 2006)
• Presenter, “Kentucky Tax Cases and Regulations Update,” Kentucky Bar Association, 2006 KBA Annual Convention, Covington, Kentucky (June 2006)
• Presenter, “Hopes and Fears in Kentucky,” 2006 COST Advanced Income Tax Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (May 2006)
• Contributor, “Kentucky SALT Developments,” COST 2006 Income Tax Conference Audit Session, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (May 2006)
• Presenter, “States Near Ohio … Tax Advice for Companies – Kentucky and Tennessee Update,” 15th Annual Ohio Tax Conference, Columbus, Ohio (January 2006)
• Presenter, “Kentucky Tax Cases of Interest,” KyCPA Kentucky State Tax Conference, Louisville, Kentucky (January 2006)