STATE & LOCAL TAX ADVOCACY – Representative Matters – Legis & Admin Tax Policy

Legislative and Administrative Tax Advocacy

Nielsen Merksamer has unparalleled experience in legislative and administrative tax policy matters. Among our seven registered lobbyists are lawyers who have participated in some manner on most major tax policy issues in California over the last decade.

  • In response to Cutler v. Franchise Tax Board, 208 Cal. App. 4th 1247 (2012), the Franchise Tax Board proposed to retroactively tax hundreds of California entrepreneurs who had benefitted from the Qualified Small Business Stock exclusion. On behalf of California Business Defense, a coalition of those entrepreneurs, partner Eric Miethke was the chief strategist and lead lobbyist for the effort that led to the passage of AB 1412 (Gatto/Bocanegra) and SB 209 (Ted Lieu) which gave full relief to the entrepreneurs from all taxes, interest and penalties.
  • On behalf of the Motion Picture Association of America, Nielsen Merksamer helped lead the lobby effort and was the chief technical consultant for the industry on AB 1839 (Bocanegra), which established the $1.6 billion California motion picture production tax credit program.
  • A significant number of recent California advances in the area of taxation were the result of bills lobbied by Nielsen Merksamer, including: SB 657 (Maddy) (1995) -The Omnibus Property Tax Reform Act; AB 315 (McDonald) (1995)-Established that “Entrepreneurial Profit” in the Income approach to value must be established with “market evidence”; AB 272 (Kuykendall) (1995)-The Employment Taxpayers Bill of Rights; AB 2798 (Machado) (1998)-Extension of the MIC to software manufacturers; AB 934 (Hertzberg) (2002)-Allowed independent judicial review of assessment appeals board decisions; AB 809 (Harman) (2001), AB 2561 (Vargas) (2002), AB 2590 (Campbell) (2004) and AB 1037 (Frommer) (2006)-Single sales factor apportionment; AB 1823 (Alpert) (1993)-Local-option personal property tax rebates on “economic revitalization manufacturing property”; AB 2747 (Wesson) (2002) and AB 777 (Nuñez) (2006)-Motion picture production tax credit.  SB 209 (Lieu)/AB 1412 (Gatto/Bocanegra) (2013)-Preservation of Qualified Small Business Stock exclusion for prior periods and elimination of retroactive assessments.
  • We have also successfully stopped legislation that would have increased taxes for a wide variety of businesses in California.
  • We have also represented several significant business coalitions before the Legislature, including the California Unitary Tax Council and Business for Economic Growth in California (the Single Sales Factor Coalition).

A number of key California tax regulations in the income, property, and sales tax areas have been successfully lobbied by Nielsen Merksamer on behalf of a broad variety of industries including automotive, technology, graphic art and advertising, food processors, motion picture and entertainment, manufacturers, medical device and pharmaceuticals, and petroleum.

  • Property Tax Rules: Rules 20-25 (Possessory Interests).
  • Sales and Use Tax Regulations: 1528 (Photographers); 1529 (Motion Pictures); 1532 (Motion Picture Post Production); 1540 (Advertising Agencies); 1541 (Printing and Related Arts); 1543 (Publishers); 1583 (Modular Systems Furniture); 1584 (Membership Fees); 1587 (Animal Life, Feed, Drugs and Medicines); 1589 (Containers and Labels); 1591 (Medicines and Medical Devices); 1595 (Occasional Sales-Sale of a Business–Business Reorganization) and 1706 (Drop Shipments).
  • Bank and Corporation Tax Regulations: 25137-10 (General Financial) and 25106.5 (Combined Reporting); 25110(d)(2)(F) (Non-Effectively Connected Income).

Multistate Tax Commission: We have also represented taxpayers on regulatory issues before the Multistate Tax Commission.