For the Press

State Tax Notes Magazine Names Robert Plattner Its 2014 Person of the Year

December 15, 2014

FALLS CHURCH, Va. State Tax Notes, Tax Analysts’ weekly publication on current state and local tax issues, today released its 2014 year in review edition featuring the best in the state tax field.

Annually, the magazine publishes a special year in review issue announcing the Person of the Year award in recognition of the individual or organization that had the most influence on state tax policy and practice. The issue also features other individuals and organizations that played important roles in the state tax field that year.

Robert Plattner, deputy commissioner of the Office of Tax Policy and Analysis for the New York State Department of Taxation and Finance, is this year’s Person of the Year. He is recognized for his work on corporate tax reform in New York state. Plattner’s work received praise for improving the competitiveness of the state’s tax code by merging the bank tax into the corporate franchise tax, adopting single-sales-factor apportionment with market-based sourcing, broadening the corporate tax base, and lowering the rate.

“What’s novel about Plattner’s tax policy concepts for corporate tax reform and the Amazon law is that they tested constitutional bounds while remaining pragmatic enough to actually be implemented,” the editors write. “That he bridges the gap between theoretical and practical isn’t all that surprising. Those who know him say he’s a practical person who thinks about the concepts of good tax policy, he understands that tax reform is only as good as the work put into it, and he knows that major legislation will pass only if the timing and political atmosphere are right.”

Others on State Tax Notes’ list of the most influential individuals and organizations for 2014 are:

        • The U.S. Supreme Court for the three state tax cases it took, including one that could significantly change commerce clause jurisprudence.
        • Lynn Gandhi of Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP for her work as chair of both the Michigan State Bar’s taxation section and the Michigan Chamber of Commerce Tax Policy Committee.
        • Scott Waller, executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Mississippi Economic Council, for his work to successfully get passed the legislative solution to problems brought to light in Equifax Inc. v. Department of Revenue.
        • Anthony Williams, former District of Columbia mayor, for chairing the D.C. Tax Revision Commission, which recommended lowering the business tax rate, switching to single-sales-factor apportionment, conforming individual income tax brackets and the estate tax threshold to federal standards, and expanding the sales tax, all of which were adopted in the city’s budget.
        • Sam Brownback, Kansas governor, for signing a bill making several adjustments to sales and income taxes to help improve the state’s fiscal situation.
        • The Council on State Taxation for tirelessly filing amicus curiae briefs on behalf of taxpayers and in pursuit of its tax policy goals.


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Read the full 2014 year in review issue of State Tax Notes here.

For more information or to speak with our editors, please contact Shannon Meraw at 703-531-4835 or shannon.meraw@taxanalysts.org.