Case Studies - Government Relations
The Right Representation Avoids Retroactive Taxation
Our client was a limited liability company (“LLC”) that owned a major retail and office complex. The principals of the LLC entered into a contract to sell their ownership interests in the entity that owned the real property, rather than selling the real estate – a transaction carefully structured to avoid the imposition of millions of dollars in transfer and recordation taxes. When the Maryland General Assembly was called into Special Session, however, bills were introduced in both houses to impose the transfer and recordation taxes on these sales of “controlling interests.” As proposed, these bills would have included our client’s transaction. After meetings with key decision-makers in the legislature, the bills were amended to include a delayed effective date for the new tax. Our client was able to close the transaction before the tax took effect, saving millions of dollars.
Saving the Game - and a Valuable Market
Our client, a distributor of electronic bingo equipment, was caught up in the Maryland General Assembly’s efforts to impose a statewide ban on slot machines. Legislation was introduced in both the Maryland Senate and the House of Delegates to phase out electronic gaming devices. The legislation was drafted so broadly that it also outlawed certain hand-held electronic bingo devices that non-profit organizations use to maximize their revenues from charitable bingo games – devices that our client would be distributing in Maryland. Working closely with key staff members in Annapolis, and with members of the Senate Budget and Taxation Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee, we were able to get the bill amended so that the devices distributed by our client were excluded from the ban.