For the Press

Tax Analysts’ State and Local Tax Publications Introduce New Column: Raising the Bar

June 30, 2014
 

FALLS CHURCH, Va. – Tax Analysts, the independent, nonprofit provider of federal, state, and international tax news and analysis, today announced the launch of a new column, Raising the Bar, written by legal editor Doug Sheppard.

The regular column will appear in State Tax Notes and State Tax Today, and will provide fresh, incisive analysis of breaking state tax issues through interviews with four seasoned state and local tax veterans: Kendall Houghton, a partner at Alston & Bird LLP; Joe Crosby, principal at MultiState Associates; Stephen P. Kranz, a partner at McDermott Will & Emery; and Diann Smith, counsel at McDermott Will & Emery.

The inaugural column, “Where Is Delaware Headed on Unclaimed Property?” focuses on Delaware unclaimed property collection legislation SB 215 that was introduced to regulate the business practices of third-party auditors. The pending bill would prohibit paying third-party auditors on a contingent fee basis or by commission and would require the rebidding of state contracts with auditors every three years.

“SB 215 was introduced to address the state's relationship with Kelmar Associates LLC, its third-party auditor,” Sheppard writes. “Private sector representatives have questioned not only the firm's aggressiveness, but the fact that former state escheator Mark Udinski took a position with Kelmar after leaving the state Department of Finance.”

Houghton’s practice focuses on state and local tax planning, tax controversies, and unclaimed property and escheat matters. She leads the Alston & Bird state and local tax practice. She previously served as general counsel to the Council On State Taxation.

Crosby is an expert on state and local business tax policy. Before joining MultiState, he served as chief operating officer and senior director of policy to the Council On State Taxation.

Kranz engages in all forms of taxpayer advocacy, including audit defense and litigation, legislative monitoring, and the formation and leadership of taxpayer coalitions. Before joining McDermott, he served as general counsel to the Council On State Taxation.

Smith focuses her practice on state and local taxation with an emphasis on tax challenges concerning compliance, controversy, planning, and legislative activity. She previously served as general counsel to the Council On State Taxation.

The full column is available here.