Tax - Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck

No corporate deal can go forward without tax planning. Brownstein’s highly experienced and business savvy Tax Group focuses on tax-friendly structures that both minimize your exposure and serve your business objectives. In addition to having an authoritative knowledge of tax law, we understand how tax affects the structure of business transactions and apply tax law in ways that maximize business alternatives and agility.

Our Tax Group advises clients on the full breadth of business and transactional tax issues, and has substantial experience with large, complex, corporate transactions, as well as corporate tax controversy work. Working with clients ranging from large corporations to individual investors, we counsel on mergers and acquisitions, company spin-offs, asset acquisitions, choice of entity, state and local tax concerns and working with the IRS. The group’s real estate-related tax experience is extensive, and includes large-scale development projects, 1031 like-kind exchanges, REITs, acquisitions and dispositions, cross-border investment planning, limited liability, company structures, partnerships, capital gain maximization and low-income housing tax credits.

We work with a broad spectrum of businesses, ranging from the alternative and renewable energy industry to the hotel, resort, casino and hospitality industry, to companies in technology, Internet and telecommunications.

Many members of our Tax Group have advanced degrees in tax disciplines, have accounting, finance and business backgrounds, and have worked for major corporations, national accounting firms and large, money-center law firms. To offer the most comprehensive service possible, they routinely collaborate with our Corporate, Real Estate and Employment groups, bringing together varying specialties and viewpoints. 

Representative Matters
  • Represented Ergentus Emergency Physicians in its merger with US Acute Care Solutions, a portfolio company of Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe.

  • Represented Gaia in the $145.7 million sale of its branded fitness equipment and apparel business to Sequential Brands and Fit for Life.

  • Represented SC Venture Acquisition LLC, the manager of PA-SC Venture I LLC, in acquiring a majority/controlling interest in PA-SC Atlanta Project LLC, PA-SC West Palm Beach Project LLC, and PA-SC Bould Project LLC, all distribution facilities subject to a triple net lease, which are add-on acquisitions for portfolio companies with similar purpose, by SC Venture Acquisition LLC.

  • Represented SC Venture Acquisition LLC, the manager of PA-SC Venture I LLC, in acquiring a majority/controlling interest in PA-SC West Palm Beach Project LLC, a distribution facility subject to a triple net lease, which is one of many add-on acquisitions for portfolio companies with similar purpose, by SC Venture Acquisition LLC.

  • Represented SC Venture Acquisition LLC, the manager of PA-SC Venture I LLC, in acquiring a majority/controlling interest in PA-SC Boulder Project LLC, a distribution facility subject to a triple net lease, which is one of many add-on acquisitions for portfolio companies with similar purpose, by SC Venture Acquisition LLC.

  • Served as tax counsel to KSE Radio Ventures, LLC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kroenke Sports & Entertainment, LLC, in its acquisition of Denver broadcast radio stations KIMN-FM 100.3, KXKL-FM 105.1 and KWOF-FM 92.5 from Wilks Broadcast Group, LLC.

  • Served as tax counsel to Encore Consumer Capital, LP in the sale of its portfolio company, FreshKO Produce Services, Inc., a distributor of high-quality fresh produce throughout central and northern California, to C&S Wholesale Grocers, Inc., the largest wholesale grocery supply company in the United States.

  • Represented WestWater Energy, LLC and certain of its subsidiaries, which, among other things, operate evaporation ponds and solid waste disposal facilities in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming, in the sale of assets related to such evaporation ponds and disposal facilities to OWL Rockies, LLC and its affiliates.

  • Represented an affiliate of Lion Equity Partners, a Denver-based private equity firm, in its acquisition of Homes & Land, an integrated real estate media platform, providing local real estate information throughout the U.S. and parts of Canada.

  • Represented RGS Energy in its acquisition of Mercury Energy, an east coast solar integrator.

  • Assisted client in the nearly $8 million acquisition of a distressed property for future development into a luxury hotel. Advised client regarding all aspects of the transaction, including assignment of the purchase and sale agreement, structuring of workout with previous developer and new market and federal historic tax credits.

  • Represented Mexico Retail Properties and MRP Group, LP in the largest ever real estate transaction in Mexico's history consisting of the sale of 49 commercial properties and the sale of MRP Group's property management platform for an aggregate purchase price of approximately US $2.0 Billion to FIBRA Uno, the first and largest real estate investment trust in Mexico.

  • On behalf of a major real estate client, worked through an industry group to pass bipartisan tax legislation in the United States Senate.

  • Led a multidisciplinary corporate, tax and health care team on behalf of a healthcare company in creating innovative new joint venture ownership structure for in vitro fertilization labs, leveraging best of breed technologies and best practices through licensing and management systems. Researched and created innovative corporate and business structure achieving business priorities while addressing competing requirements in areas of corporate, tax, insurance, consumer finance, and health care, including restrictions on corporate practice of medicine, fee splitting, self-referral, and anti-kickback.

  • Represented equity owner in its sale of a 170 room full service historic Dallas hotel property including transfer of historic tax credit financing. Representation included sale negotiations and closing, tax credit financing transfers and releases and windup of management and license agreements.

  • Represented DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners in its restructuring of two joint ventures with Noble House Group.

  • Represented Resorts Entertainment in the negotiations of an operation and management agreement with Mohegan Gaming Advisors for the Resorts Hotel and Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

  • Represents client on international tax reform.

  • Represented the purchaser in the $90 million purchase of a portfolio of four apartment complexes in the Denver - Colorado Springs metro areas. Brownstein was Colorado counsel on the acquisition agreement, title and survey review and curative work, water rights due diligence and opinion letters for financing by FHLMC (Freddie Mac).

  • Served as bond counsel for the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico in connection with a public sale of $69,795,000 Series 2012A & B Bonds to fund various public projects and private placement of $11,525,000 of Series 2012C and D Bonds.

  • Represented Riviera Holdings Corporation, a Las Vegas casino operator and a portfolio asset of Starwood Capital Group, in the sale of the stock of Riviera Black Hawk, Inc. (the owner of Riviera's Black Hawk, Colorado casino) to an affiliate of Monarch Casino & Resort, Inc., in a transaction valued at $76 million.

  • Represented Airborne Tactical Advantage Company, LLC, a flight training provider to the United States military, in connection with a debt and equity recapitalization.

  • On behalf of First Solar, NRG Solar, and others, evaluation of New Mexico state and local tax burdens on utility-scale PV and solar thermal projects; evaluated potentially applicable state and local tax incentives; drafted and lobbied legislation to clarify ambiguities and gaps in existing law; assisted in structuring project related transactions to minimize state and local tax burdens; and assisted clients in the administrative aspects of implementing tax strategy. Tim has also represented several utility scale wind farm developers on similar issues.

  • Represented Four S Holdings LLC, a portfolio company of The Decatur Group and the largest franchisee of Sola Salons, in its recapitalization in partnership with John Chidsey, former Chairman and CEO of Burger King Corporation.

  • Represented KSL Capital Partners, LLC as the purchaser in its $130 million acquisition of the Royal Palm Hotel located in Miami Beach, FL, including $90 million of seller financing. Brownstein also negotiated the purchase and sale agreement and seller financing documents, completed due diligence and closed the acquisition in less than 60 days.

  • Served as bond counsel for the City of Albuquerque, NM in connection with the sale of $135,000,000 short-term general obligation bonds, Series 2011A.

  • Brownstein worked closely with industry leaders, House Committee on Ways and Means members, Senate Finance Committee members and the Joint Committee on Taxation to solve existing barriers to foreign capital by successfully passing an amendment to the Foreign Investment in Real Property Tax Act (FIRPTA).

  • Representation of a national solar module manufacturer in connection with tax incentives on a solar photovoltaic project in Clark County, Nevada

  • Assisted Graham Packaging Company, L.P. in a $568 million strategic acquisition of another manufacturer and supplier. In the transaction, Graham Packaging Company acquired all of the limited partnership units of the target company from the company's limited partners and all of the stock of each of the company's three corporate general partners from their stockholders. A manufacturer and supplier of technology-based, customized blow molded plastic containers for the branded food and beverage, household, personal care/specialty and automotive lubricants product categories, Graham Packaging Company is a portfolio company of Blackstone Capital Group.

  • Represented Fairfax Securities Corporation as placement agent and acted as special tax counsel in a first-of-its-kind $18 million tax-exempt lease purchase financing agreement for an early college high school for the Las Cruces Public School District in New Mexico.

  • Served as bond counsel for the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico in connection with the sale of $24,940,000 Short-Term General Obligation Bonds, Series 2010A and Short-term General Obligation Storm Sewer Bonds, Series 2010B.

  • Represented Vail Resorts, Inc. (NYSE: MTN) in its acquisition of Mountain News Corporation (MNC), which operates the world's most visited online snow sports portal, OnTheSnow.com. Mountain News Corporation is the top provider of snow reports to more than 1,200 web sites throughout the world, including approximately 400 news media websites.

  • Represented Merritt Equipment Co., a leading manufacturer and distributor of agricultural trailers and aluminum accessory products, in the acquisition of a Sacramento, California-based trucking accessories (fender bracket) manufacturing business owned by Z&Z Enterprises, Inc.

  • Assisted Slaterpaull Architects in acquiring historic real property from the City & County of Denver and with related environmental and rehabilitation tax credit matters.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque in the formation of the Mesa del Sol, Quorum at ABQ Uptown and Winrock Tax Increment Development Districts. Represented Sandia View LLC in the formation of the Village of Rio Rancho Tax Increment Development District. Represents Verde Realty in connection with district formation and other development on the border of the United States and Mexico.

  • The Firm represented the City of Albuquerque as bond counsel in the issuance of $26.3 million of special levy bonds by Public Improvement Districts.

  • Served as Nevada tax counsel on issues arising from the sale of the Fontainebleau property in Las Vegas, including representation in obtaining a significant re-assessment of property taxes.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque in the formation of the Ventana West, Saltillo, Montecito, The Trails, Volterra and Mesa del Sol Public Improvement Districts. Represented the Districts in multiple bond issuances representing more than $25 million.

  • Served as counsel to Strategic Analytics Inc., a global software and services company in the retail lending industry, in connection with the sale of all of the outstanding stock of the company.

  • Served as review counsel for the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico in connection with the issuance of an industrial revenue bond for the SUMCO Phoenix Corporation Project, Series 2010.

  • Led a large coalition of diverse companies and industries to pass a temporary provision in the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act that allows for a ten year deferral of cancellation of indebtedness income. The first five years will be tax free, with ratable payments in each of the last five years. This provision will apply to debt for cash, equity or other debt, and should prove to be an important tool for companies that need to restructure debt in the midst of this severe economic down turn.

  • Completed the formation of an equity incentive plan for a food industry client which will ultimately transfer 33 percent of the company from the founders to key management.

  • Successfully worked with the tobacco industry to equalize federal excise tax rates across similar products. This provision helped finance the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP).

  • On behalf of a wind energy producer and biofuels producers, worked with a coalition of renewable energy sources to ensure that the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act included an important provision extending the production tax credit (PTC) for renewable resources for three years.

  • Served as lead counsel for Freeport LNG Development, L.P. in the structuring, strategy and development of a liquefied natural gas (LNG) receiving and regasification facility in Texas. The firm acted as lead counsel in the structuring, negotiating and documenting of financing for the construction of the facility, development of a 7.5 billion cubic foot underground salt cavern gas storage facility, and expansion of the terminal, which included approximately $750 million in financing from ConocoPhillips Company and a $453 million private placement note issuance. Brownstein also oversaw the negotiation of long term terminal use agreements (TUA) with Dow Chemical Company and ConocoPhillips Company. The firm continues to serve as outside general corporate counsel to Freeport and its subsidiaries in all aspects of their businesses, including pursuing the redevelopment of the project into a liquefaction and export facility at a cost of $14 billion.

  • Represent a large electrical utility regarding laws and proposals dealing with federal and state renewable energy policy and incentives. Advise the client regarding issues relating to potential federal and state renewable portfolio standards, federal tax incentives and the U.S. Department of Energy loan guarantee programs.

  • Served as tax counsel in connection with securing a $29,295,000 Taxable Loan 2009A-1, a $9,505,000 Tax-Exempt Loan 2009A-2 and a $20,035,000 Tax-Exempt Loan 2009B facility for Central Platte Valley Metropolitan District in the City and County of Denver.

  • Represented Dividend Capital Total Advisors in developing a joint venture platform for fund formation. Brownstein also handled the employee equity incentive package and tax matters related to the transaction.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico as bond counsel in its issuance of $10.5 million Gross Receipts Tax/Lodgers' Tax Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2009A and $28.3 million Gross Receipts Tax Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2009B.

  • Provided strategic counsel to Bion Environmental Technologies, Inc. in establishing federal-level guidance for a nutrient trading program and in evaluating the possibility of a cellulosic-styled tax credit that would apply to Bion's process for producing cellulose-based renewable energy. Brownstein facilitated meetings with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), key members of Congress and other strategic government officials to discuss the issue of basin-wide nutrient trading and energy production from Bion's integrated facilities.

  • Completed the application package and negotiated plan document issues with the IRS to secure a letter of favorable determination for the qualified defined benefit pension plan sponsored by a manufacturing company.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque as bond counsel in its issuance of $54.9 million General Purpose General Obligation Bonds, Series 2009A and $25 million Short-Term General Obligation Bonds, Series 2009B.

  • Represented Vail Resorts, Inc. in its $40.5 million acquisition of Colorado Mountain Express, a resort ground transportation business. Brownstein also handled the related real estate, tax, environmental, ERISA and employment aspects of the transaction.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico as bond counsel in the issuance of $14.9 million in commercial paper notes for projects at Albuquerque International Sunport.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque as review counsel in connection with the issuance of $100 million in industrial revenue bonds, Series 2009, on behalf of General Mills.

  • Assisting Rentech in obtaining favorable biofuels legislation in Congress, as well as assisting with loan and tax relief from Colorado and Commerce City.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque, New Mexico as bond counsel in its issuance of $11.2 million Gross Receipts Tax Revenue Bonds for Beach, Bluewater and Manzano Vista projects, Series 2008B.

  • Served as tax counsel in securing a $10,000,000 tax-exempt loan facility for the Breckenridge Mountain Metropolitan District in the Town of Breckenridge, Colorado.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque as bond counsel in the issuance of $37.5 million Airport Revenue Bonds, Series 2008D/E.

  • Represented a large, multi-state cattle ranching operation in obtaining a favorable ruling from the IRS regarding a split-off of the business between family members.

  • Acted as counsel to the rental car companies in a $36.5 million City and County of Denver, Colorado Airport Special Facilities Revenue Bonds Tax-Exempt Series 1999A, $38.9 Airport Special Facilities Revenue Refunding and Improvement Bonds Taxable Series 1999B and $3.1 Airport Development Revenue Bonds Taxable Series 1999C.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque as bond counsel in the issuance of $37 million Short-Term General Obligation Bonds, Series 2008C.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque as bond counsel in the issuance of $43 million General Obligation Bonds, Series 2008 A/B.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque as bond counsel in the issuance of $16.6 million Gross Receipts Tax Refunding Bonds, Taxable Series 2008A.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque as bond counsel in the issuance of $21.2 million Airport Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2008B/C.

  • Represented the City of Albuquerque as bond counsel in the issuance of $13.6 million Airport Refunding Revenue Bonds, Series 2008.

  • Obtaining for certain gaming and lodging companies the ability for their operating companies to spin off, tax free, their real estate holdings.

  • Represented Naples Nephrology in its joint venture with US Renal Care.

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Meet The Team

Gregory W. Berger Shareholder T 303.223.1158 gberger@bhfs.com
George Short Shareholder T 805.882.1441 gshort@bhfs.com
J. Tenley Oldak Shareholder T 303.223.1159 toldak@bhfs.com
Pacifico S. Agnellini Shareholder T 609.241.0188 pagnellini@bhfs.com
Andrew C. Elliott Shareholder T 303.223.1154 aelliott@bhfs.com
Steven A. Jung Senior Counsel T 805.882.1443 sjung@bhfs.com
Erik J. Jensen Associate T 303.223.1205 ejensen@bhfs.com
Christine E. Ray Contract Attorney T 805.882.1423 cray@bhfs.com
Michelle Lee Pickett Shareholder T 805.882.1422 mpickett@bhfs.com
Brian Wild Policy Director T 202.872.5295 bwild@bhfs.com
Michael B. Levy Policy Director T 202.872.5281 mlevy@bhfs.com