Geoff Polma

Geoffrey Polma


Partner

 

Overview

Geoff Polma is a tax attorney focusing on state and local taxation. Geoff has represented taxpayers in a wide range of state income, franchise, sales and use, hotel occupancy, severance, and ad valorem (property) tax matters, focused on Texas but with very significant multistate experience.

State tax controversy matters are an important component of Geoff’s practice, yielding numerous representations of taxpayers in audits, administrative hearings, and judicial forums. Geoff also frequently advises clients on Texas and multistate tax minimization and compliance structuring for complex business transactions, with transaction sizes ranging from a few million to multi-billions of dollars. He has developed and pursued state tax refund strategies for clients, successfully generating many tens of millions of dollars in tax refunds. Similarly, Geoff has broad experience assisting clients in identifying and claiming all manner of state and local economic development incentives in Texas and in other states, such as property tax abatements, economic development grants, tax sharing agreements, and infrastructure reimbursements.

Representative Experience

  • Secured multiple rulings from the State of Texas and local taxing jurisdictions concluding that several major public/private partnership clients building sports facilities and hotel conference facilities were exempt from ad valorem taxation and could claim exemption from Texas sales and use tax on construction materials.
  • Regularly provides buy- and sell-side multistate income, sales, ad valorem, and real property transfer tax analysis, agreement drafting, and structuring for equity and asset transactions, collectively addressing transactions involving business operations in virtually every state.
  • Planned and implemented various incentive arrangements whereby taxpayers sitused business operations in particular local jurisdictions in exchange for percentage of resulting increase in local tax revenues.
  • Contested several assertions of officer and director personal liability for state tax obligations of business entities.
  • Participated on trial team that secured a summary judgment ruling granting ad valorem exemption on novel "equitable title" theory.
  • Participated on a trial team that won a judgment declaring sections of the Texas Tax Code unconstitutional.

Professional History

  • Partner, Locke Lord LLP
  • Formerly Of Counsel, Vinson & Elkins, Dallas
  • Former associate, Johnson & Wortley, Dallas

Reported Decisions

  • La Quinta Inns, Inc. v. Sharp, Cause No. 95-15739 (Travis Cty Dist Ct) Participated on trial team winning judgment declaring sections 156.103(a)(3) and (b) of the Texas Tax Code void as unconstitutional
  • Texas Student Hous. Corp. v. Denton Cent. Appraisal Dist., Cause No. 2002-10026-16 (Denton Cty Dist Ct):; Participated in trial team securing summary judgment ruling from the bench granting ad valorem exemption on novel "equitable title" theory
  • Medaphis Physicians Services Corp. v. Sharp, Cause No. 94-11610 (Travis Cty Dist Ct):; Currently pending protest payment litigation involving taxability of services

Professional Affiliations and Recognitions

  • Named, The Best Lawyers in America, Tax Law (2019-2020)
  • Named, Best Lawyers in Dallas by D Magazine (2016-2019)
  • Member, Dallas Bar Association
  • Member, American Bar Association
  • Multiple Term Past Chair and Vice-Chair, State Tax Committee, State Bar of Texas Tax Section
  • Council Member, State Bar of Texas Tax Section
  • Council Member, Dallas Bar Association Tax Section
  • Member, Texas Comptroller's Tax Advisory Group
  • Recognized, Chambers USA for Tax (2018)
  • Fellow, Texas Bar Foundation