Property Tax Exemptions and Abatements: Successful Negotiation Strategies

Proven Approaches for Minimizing Your Company's Tax Bill

Recording of a 90-minute CPE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Course Materials


Corporate tax departments have considerable leeway within many local ordinances and state laws to negotiate partial or complete waivers of real and personal property taxes, as their companies add new projects or expand existing facilities.

That flexibility is a positive for corporate taxpayers, but it’s difficult to gauge how your company is being treated when compared to other corporate taxpayers.

Are you confident in your plan for approaching the taxing jurisdiction and securing the best possible real or business personal property tax break?

Listen as our expert panelists — including corporate property tax specialists and veteran advisors — offer their experiences, insights and winning stratagems for negotiating property tax exemptions and abatements.



  1. Analyzing Available Property Tax Incentives
    1. Standard of proof for applicants
    2. Reduction in assessment as an incentive
    3. Jurisdictions’ conditions
    4. How to calculate the abatement
  2. Establishing A Rapport With Jurisdiction Officials
  3. Creating An Advance Plan For Seeking Exemption
    1. Identifying other, valid options for company investment
    2. Assembling an internal team
    3. Deciding how, when to contact jurisdiction
    4. Crafting a comprehensive proposal
  4. Application Processes
    1. With or without annual recertifications
    2. Getting guidance on complexity of recertifications
  5. Negotiating Abatements Or Exemptions
    1. Necessary requirements
    2. Negotiating number of years
    3. Negotiating sliding scale of property tax benefit
    4. Determining if additional investments will be needed
  6. Dealing With Clawbacks
    1. Attempting to mitigate terms
    2. Making other company departments aware of potential costs
  7. Impact Of Appeal Rights
    1. Maintaining right to appeal fair value in a way that doesn’t jeopardize exemption


The panel provides guidance and thoroughly briefs you on: 

  • Crafting a cohesive strategy for approaching government officials about property tax exemptions — including honest options about where else the company could expand.
  • Analyzing the potential value of a property tax exemption by running preliminary cash flows and calculating the valuation threshold.
  • Negotiating the duration and amount of a property tax exemption, jobs and investment performance standards, and forbearance if those standards aren’t met.
  • Adjusting your strategy for real vs. personal property, and local vs. state governments.


Gregory F. Servodidio
Gregory F. Servodidio
Pullman & Comley

He works with corporate clients on assessment and valuation proceedings for headquarters and other business buildings,...  |  Read More

Laura Bellotti
Laura Bellotti
Pullman & Comley

She practices in ad valorem personal and real property tax appeals and eminent domain hearings. She has worked in the...  |  Read More

Mike Ford
Mike Ford
Property Tax Consultant
E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Co.

He has worked for the company since 2002 and focuses on property tax and incentive compliance, plant analysis,...  |  Read More

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