Overview

Steve Schneider is an ad valorem property tax counselor and litigator. His clients have received more than $100 million of property tax savings throughout the country. Steven works extensively with industrial, commercial, telecommunications, and energy taxpayers where thorough knowledge of the changing regulatory and business environments is essential for a proper presentation of a taxpayer’s valuation case.

  • Litigates before the Michigan Tax Tribunal to obtain substantial property tax value reductions
  • Represents industries in activities related to State Tax Commission personal property valuation guidelines, cost reporting, and tax exemptions
  • Negotiates settlements related to personal and real property tax valuations on behalf of commercial, industrial, and utility companies

Services

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Obtained value reduction of over 50% for an approximately 3 million square foot manufacturing complex after an eight day trial, Detroit Diesel Corp. v City of Detroit and Redford Twp., MOAHR Docket No. 17-001172 (consolidated), (August 8, 2019); Detroit Diesel Corp. v. Redford Twp., No. 350407 (Mich. Ct. App. Jan. 21, 2021). Also obtained other substantial value reductions for other industrial buildings after Tribunal trials in Schefenacker Vision Systems USA, Inc. v. City of Maryville, MTT Docket No. 365867; Comau, Inc. v. City of Novi, MTT Docket No. 351412; Consumers Energy Co. v. Port Sheldon Township, MTT Docket No. 15-001725

  • Represented several industries and the state's major chambers of commerce in reforming Michigan State Tax Commission personal property tax valuation tables

  • Lead counsel in a 31-day trial over value of two coal-fired power plants with a combined capacity of 2600 MW, settlement after trial reducing values over $1 billion, The Detroit Edison Company v. China Twp. and East China Twp., Michigan Tax Tribunal (MTT) Docket Nos. 292798
  • Litigated several cases challenging values on telephone company operating property resulting in millions of dollars of tax savings, AT&T/SBC-Midwest/Michigan Bell v. Michigan State Tax Commission MCI Communications v. State Tax Commission; Frontier North v. State Tax Commission; Level 3 Communications, Inc. v. State Tax Commission, MTT Docket No. 354657 (2008); Comcast Phone of Michigan, LLC v. State Tax Commission and Department of Treasury, MTT Docket No. 338943 (2007)
  • Obtained Michigan Tax Tribunal judgments after trials resulting in reduced values for shopping centers, B & L Development, LLC v. City of Norton Shores, MTT Docket No. 365860; affirmed, Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No. 311183 (2014); Redford Square Associates, Ltd. v. Township of Redford, MTT Docket No. 362195
  • Obtained Michigan Tax Tribunal judgment after trial reducing value of industrial zoned land by over 90% because of developmental challenges posed by topography and land use ordinances, MS Brighton, LLC v. City of Brighton, MTT Docket No. 345507 (2013); affirmed, Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No. 319909 (2015)
  • Obtained a Michigan Tax Tribunal judgment after trial that reduced the value of a two-sheet ice rink by approximately 50% for each of the three tax years, Suburban Properties - Macomb LLC v. Township of Macomb, MTT Docket No. 347318
  • Obtained a Michigan Tax Tribunal judgment after a trial that reduced the value of 36 acres of developmental land near the Detroit Metro Airport by over 50%, Venoy Wick Development Associates, L.L.C. v. City of Romulus, MTT Docket No. 346538
  • Settled before trial the value of a district steam system that resulted in over $3 million of tax refunds, Detroit Thermal, LLC v. City of Detroit, MTT Docket Nos. 307839, et al.
  • Settlements before trial reducing the values of cogeneration power plants, Michigan Power LP v. Pere Marquette Township, MTT Docket No. 257630 and Ada Cogeneration v. Ada Township, MTT Docket No. 359295 and the values of several coal-fired power plants owned by DTE Electric Co., Consumers Energy Co., and Wisconsin Electric Power Co.
  • Settlement before trial of value of Chautauqua community comprised of 445 cottages, 2 inns and 27 community buildings.  Bay View Association of the United Methodist Church v. Bear Creek Township, MTT Docket Nos. 13-001362 and 16-000897
  • Co-chaired 130-day trial that resulted in a $400 million reduction in value for property tax purposes of the nation's largest cogeneration plant, Midland Cogeneration Venture Limited Partnership v. City of Midland, 13 MTT 584 (2004); affirmed in pertinent part, Michigan Court of Appeals Docket No. 254636, et al. (2006)
  • Litigated personal property valuation appeals for American Electric Power Co./Indiana Michigan Power Co.; ANR Pipeline Company; Aquila, Inc., d/b/a Michigan Gas Utilities; American Transmission Company; Blue Lake Gas Storage Co.; Buckeye Pipe Line Company; Cloverland Electric Cooperative; Comcast; The Detroit Edison Company; Diversified Machine; Great Lakes Energy Cooperative; Michigan Consolidated Gas Company; Midwest Energy Cooperative; Northern Natural Gas Company; SEMCO Energy Gas Co.; and Homeworks Tri County Electric Cooperative; Wisconsin Public Service Corporation; and Upper Peninsula Power Company; and many others
  • Represented Intervening Respondents Consumers Energy Co., Detroit Edison Co., Michigan Consolidated Gas Co., and amici curiae Michigan Chamber of Commerce and Detroit Regional Chamber of Commerce in the landmark Michigan case involving appropriate procedures to study and adopt new guidelines to value utility property, Wayne Co. v. Michigan State Tax Comm. (Docket 273674) 11 MTT 452 (2002); affirmed, 261 Mich. App. 174, 682 N.W.2d 100 (2004)
  • Challenged Mississippi’s unit value property tax allocation formula and obtained acceptance of the taxpayer's proposed allocation formula, ANR Pipeline Company v. Mississippi State Tax Commission, (trial December 1996); affirmed, 806 So.2d 1081 (2001)
  • Represented COO and 49% shareholder in successful trial obtaining finding client was not a responsible person under Internal Revenue Code § 6672, DiStasio v. The United States, Fed. Tax Reporter (CCH), 50,577, Nov. 16, 1990 (22 Claims Court 36)
  • Practiced as a tax, antitrust and commercial litigator in Milwaukee, Wisconsin for seven years and as a litigator for ANR Pipeline Company for six years, litigating property tax issues in over 15 states

Credentials

Education

Admissions

Court Admissions

Recognition

Professional & Community Involvement

PRO BONO

Represented as an amicus curaie before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the sponsoring senator of Wisconsin’s landmark school choice legislation, legislation upheld in part on arguments and data presented; Davis v. Grover, 166 Wis. 2d 501, 480 N.W.2d 460 (1992)

News & Insights

Publications

  • Litigating Power Plant Valuation Issues Under Deregulation
    Publication | Journal of Multistate Taxation and Incentives |
  • Publication |
  • Evaluating Power Plant Property Taxes Under Deregulation
    Publication | Public Utilities Fortnightly |
  • Natural Gas Pipeline Regulation and Its Effect on Value
    Publication | Assessment Journal, No.5 | Sep./Oct. 1997
  • A Functional Rule-of-Reason Analysis for Resale Price of Maintenance and Its Application to Spray Rite v. Monsanto
    Publication | Wis. L. Rev., p. 1205-1272 |

Seminars & Events

  • Property Tax Update on Key States
    Event | New Orleans, LA | March 3-4, 2016 | | Speaker
  • Personal Property Tax Update
    Event | Webinar | Ongoing series | | Presenter
  • Your Guide to Michigan Tax Resolution
    Event | Webinar | | | Presenter
  • Presenting (and Attacking) Market Forecasts in the Courtroom
    Event | Wichita, KS | |
  • Michigan Commercial Property Tax Appeals
    Event | Frankenmuth, MI | | | Co-presenter
  • Planning for Your Personal Property Tax Exemption
    Event | Webinar | | | Co-presenter
  • The Pursuit of Property Tax Equity by Michigan Telecommunications Providers
    Event | |
  • Case Study: "Midland Cogeneration Venture Limited Partnership v. City of Midland– Replacement Cost and Intangibles
    Event | |
  • Litigating Unit Value Allocation Disputes
    Event | |
  • Case Study: Wayne County v. Michigan State Tax Commission
    Event | |
  • Litigating Power Plant Valuation Issues under Deregulation, Paper presented at American Bar Association/Institute for Professionals in Taxation
    Event | New Orleans, LA |
  • Power Plant Valuation Under Deregulation
    Event | Orlando, Florida | | | Presenter
  • Competitive Generation and Open Access Transmission: The Effects on Electric Industry Property Valuation
    Event | Orlando, FL | |
  • Natural Gas Pipeline Regulation and its Effect on Value
    Event | Nashville, TN |
  • Competitive Generation and Open Access Transmission: The Effects on Electric Industry Property Valuation
    Event | |
  • Discussion Panelist, Healthcare Antitrust Issues
    Event | |
  • New Developments in Tying Law: The Use of Tying to Police Relations Between Manufacturers and Their Distributors
    Event | 1989 |
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