Overview

Stewart Mandell is a tax appeal attorney who focuses on appropriately reducing taxes through tax planning, tax appeals, tax incentive awards, and the passage of favorable state tax legislation. His efforts have saved taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

  • Represents taxpayers in a broad variety of property tax matters involving industrial, commercial, and residential properties
  • Obtains approvals for state and local tax incentive packages
  • Represents taxpayers before the Michigan Tax Tribunal, Michigan Court of Claims, the Michigan Court of Appeals, and the Michigan Supreme Court
  • Handles federal and state tax planning and controversy matters for taxable and exempt organizations
  • In 2019 obtained tax appeal settlements that reduced the property taxes of a mall by over $800,000, and reduced the property’s taxes of an industrial property by over $9 million dollars

Services

Experience

Representative Matters

  • Obtained approvals for state and local tax incentive packages of over $130 million, including the state's largest non-automotive incentive award
  • Achieved passage of property tax, sales tax, use tax, Michigan Business Tax, and Single Business Tax legislation that has saved taxpayers over $150 million
  • SBC Health Midwest, Inc v. Kentwood 500 Mich. 65; 894 N.W.2d 535 (2017); Michigan Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the statute involved made the taxpayer eligible for exemption notwithstanding that it was a for-profit corporation.
  • Occidental Development LLC v. Waterford Twp. MTT No. 390705, January 14, 2013; for the 2010 and 2011 tax years, the Tax Tribunal accepted the taxpayer’s value contentions for an apartment complex with over 775 units.
  • Detroit Edison Co. v. China Twp.; 31-day Tax Tribunal hearing spanning several months of 2006 and 2007 involving property tax valuation of power plants; settlement included a $30 million refund.
  • Wexford Medical Group v. Cadillac 474 Mich. 192; 713 N.W.2d 734 (2006); the Michigan Supreme Court unanimously ruled property is exempt, reversing the Court of Appeals.
  • Service System Associates, Inc. v. Huntington Woods; unpublished opinion per curiam of the Michigan Court of Appeals issued December 6, 2005 (Docket Nos. 256649 and 256632), affirmed property tax exemption.
  • Michigan State University v. Lansing; unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued February 15, 2005 (Docket No. 250813), property tax exemption sustained.
  • Occidental Development, LLC v. Van Buren Township MTT, No. 292645 (March 4, 2004); Tax Tribunal granted summary disposition in property tax valuation appeal.
  • Fifty-Nine Seventy-Three Corp. v. Detroit; unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, issued July 24, 1998 (Docket No. 202520); Court of Appeals affirmed Tax Tribunal valuation of commercial property.
  • IBM v Dep't of Treasury 220 Mich. App. 83; 558 N.W.2d 456 (1996), lv. den. 456 Mich. 882; 570 N.W.2d 656 (1997); use tax assessment was defeated.
  • General Funding Corp. v. Novi 7 MTT 835 (1994); aff'd by unpublished opinion per curiam of the Court of Appeals, decided November 17, 1995 (Docket No. 175008), Tax Tribunal and Court of Appeals invalidated personal property assessments.
  • Grand Trunk Western Railroad Co v. Dep't of Treasury (consolidated with Chesapeake & Ohio Railroad Co v. Dep't of Treasury) 170 Mich. App. 384; 427 N.W.2d 580 (1988); single business tax assessment was invalidated.
  • Lansing Dairy v. State of Michigan; Michigan Court of Claims granted taxpayer summary disposition in use tax case.
  • Michigan Retailers Association v. United States 676 F. Supp. 151 (W.D. Mich. 1988); obtained summary disposition in federal tax case.

Prior Experience

  • Dykema Gossett PLLC, Tax Department Director, 1981-2004

Credentials

Education

Admissions

Recognition

Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2006-2022
    • Recognized in practice areas of:
      • Litigation and Controversy - Tax
      • Tax Law
  • Michigan Super Lawyers, 2011-2021
  • Leading Lawyers Magazine Michigan, 2017
    • Recognized in practice areas of:
      • Real Estate Law: Tax
      • Tax Law: Business
  • DBusiness, Top Lawyers, 2010, 2013-2015, 2017, and 2022
  • Hour Detroit, Top Lawyers of Michigan 2021
  • Martindale-Hubbell AV® Preeminent™ Peer Review Rated

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American Bar Association
  • American Property Tax Counsel (APTC)
  • Detroit Regional Chamber
    • Tax Committee, Chairman, 1999-2002
  • Michigan Chamber of Commerce Tax Committee
  • Institute of Property Taxation (IPT)
  • State Bar of Michigan
    • Taxation Section
      • Taxation Council, 1992-1996
      • State and Local Tax Subcommittee
      • Practice and Procedure Subcommittee
  • Parenting Awareness Month
    • Founder
  • University of Michigan Hillel Board of Trustees, Former Trustee and Treasurer

PRO BONO

Helped nonprofits obtain tax relief and/or exemption

News & Insights

News

Publications

  • Market-Value Tax Assessments Under Attack
    Publication | Heartland Real Estate Business |
  • Publication | Illinois State Bar Association's Section on State & Local Taxation (Vol. 60, No. 2) |
  • Invalid "Dark Box" Property Tax Claims Misinform Indiana and Michigan Legislatures
    Publication | Institute for Professionals in Taxation: IPT Insider Newsletter |
  • Michigan Provides Property Tax Lessons for Big Box Retail
    Publication | REBusiness |
  • Some Justice For Taxpayers
    Publication | July 2013
  • Don't Drown In Excessive Property Taxes
    Publication | Heartland Real Estate Business |
  • Recipes to Reduce Property Taxes Can Ease the Pain of Challenging Economic Times
    Publication | NREIonline.com |
  • The Adventures of Valuation: When Sales Comparables Are Not the Best Assessment Gauge
    Publication | Commercial Property Executive |
  • Publication | National Real Estate Investor |
  • Reassessing Market Value
    Publication | National Real Estate Investor |
  • When the Cost Approach Proves Unfair
    Publication | National Real Estate News |
  • Market Inhibited by Property Tax Problems
    Publication | Midwest Real Estate News |
  • Reducing Excessive Hotel Property Taxes
    Publication | Hotel News Resource |

Seminars & Events

  • Michigan, Indiana, and Ohio Property Tax Update
    Event | Traverse City, MI | June 12-15, 2016 | | Speaker
  • Personal Property Tax Update
    Event | Webinar | Ongoing series | | Presenter
  • Planning for Your Personal Property Tax Exemption
    Event | Webinar | | | Co-presenter
  • Manufactured Home Community Assessments
    Event | Novi, MI | | | Co-presenter
  • Current Michigan Statutory Interpretation Issues
    Event | Auburn Hills, MI | | | Co-presenter
  • Obtaining Property Tax Relief for Past Years
    Event | Novi, MI | |
  • Event | | | Co-presenter
  • Working with the Michigan Tax Tribunal: A How To
    Event | Novi, MI | | | Co-presenter
  • Event | Taylor, MI | | | Presenter
  • Property Tax Update
    Event | | Moderator/speaker
  • Event | Novi, MI | |
  • Property Tax Developments
    Event | | Speaker
  • Michigan Tax Tribunal Judges Update
    Event | 2004-2008 | Moderator
  • Critical Issues in the Valuation of Anchor Department Stores and Regional Malls
    Event | | Moderator
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