Liskow Lawyers Obtain Win for Oil and Gas Industry in Severance Tax Litigation

12.08.17

In a decision by the Louisiana Board of Tax Appeals, Liskow & Lewis attorneys Robert Angelico, Jim Exnicios, Cheryl Kornick, RJ Marse, and Jeff Birdsong obtained a ruling rejecting attempts by the Louisiana Department of Revenue to increase the amount of severance taxes due on crude oil produced in Louisiana.  The Department of Revenue targeted dozens of producers, including many smaller producers, with audits and assessments attempting to impose severance taxes on market center or index prices rather than the value of the crude oil in the field.  The Board of Tax Appeals heard a “test case” against a producer represented by Liskow & Lewis.  The decision by the Board of Tax Appeals completely rejected the Department’s arguments.  In addition, shortly after the decision was made public, the Louisiana Attorney General sent a letter to the Department of Revenue returning the Department’s contracts with outside counsel representing the Department in twenty-five related cases, effectively rejecting the Department’s theory.  The Attorney General found “no legal justification” for the Department’s position but had decided to wait until the Board of Tax Appeals rendered its decision in the test case.  According to the letter, the decision by the Board of Tax Appeals verified the position of the Attorney General.  

The Decision of the Board of Tax Appeals is here.

The letter from the Attorney General is here.