Benjamin Phipps

Benjamin K. Phipps, who has been a member of The Florida Bar since 1964 and has been working in property tax law for 41 years. Mr. Phipps is the only lawyer in Florida who holds the "CMI" designation in Property Tax from the Institute of Professionals in Taxation (IPT). He was counsel to the House Tax Committee for four years and then counsel to the Speaker for two more years. During that time, he wrote most of the present statutory language governing ad valorem taxes. He was counsel to the Tax Assessor's Association of Florida between legislative assignments. For eight years, he represented The Florida Bar as their lobbyist on all state and local tax matters. He was a member of the Florida Tax Advisory Committee and has held numerous positions in the Tax Section of The Florida Bar, including Chairman in 1984-1985. Additionally, Mr. Phipps serves on the State and Local Tax Committee of the American Bar Association.

Mr. Phipps is the most experienced litigator in ad valorem taxation matters in Florida. Mr. Phipps has represented numerous taxpayer and county property appraisers over the years. He was counsel for the Leon County Property Appraisers until the early I990s. He has tried many ad valorem tax cases at the trial level in more than 40 counties.

 

RESUME:

Formal Education:

  • The University of Virginia, B.S. (Commerce)

  • The University of Virginia, J.D.

 

Governmental Appointments:

  • Florida House of Representatives, Counsel to Tax Committee, 1966-70

  • Florida House of Representatives, Counsel to Speaker, 1972-74

  • Florida House of Representatives, Tax Advisory Committee, 1983-84

  • Legislative Task Force on Taxpayers' Rights, 1989-91

    • Comptroller's Appointee

  • Historic Tallahassee Preservation Board

    • Member, 1970-91

    • Chairman, 1970-80, 1990-91

  • Museum of Florida History

    • Board of Trustees, 1988-2000

    • General Counsel, 2000-Present

  • Cultural Resources Commission, Leon County, 2004-2006

 

Practiced Before:

  • Florida Division of Administrative Hearings

  • Florida Governor and Cabinet

  • Circuit Courts in 47 Florida Counties

  • Four District Courts of Appeal

  • Florida Supreme Court

  • Three Federal District Courts

  • Fifth and Eleventh U.S. Circuit Courts

  • U.S. Tax Court

  • U.S. Claims Court

 

Professional and Civic Activities:

  • The Florida Bar Tax Section

    • Member, Executive Counsel, 1975- Present

    • Treasurer, 1983-1984

    • Chairman-Elect, Chairman, 1984-86

  • Florida Bar News/Journal

    • Member, Editorial Board, 1975-85

    • Chairman, 1979-80

  • American Bar Association

    • Member, Tax Section, State & Local Committee

  • Tallahassee Bar Association

  • Exchange Club of Tallahassee

  • Maclay School (Board of Trustees, 1967-1970)

  • Tallahassee Trust for Historic Preservation

    • Board of Trustees, 1996-Present

    • Treasurer, 1998-Present

  • Florida Heritage Foundation

    • Board of Trustees, 1967-Present

    • President, 1967-70, 1997-99

  • St. Andrews Society of Tallahassee

    • Charter Member

    • Board of Trustees, 1973-Present

    • President, 1982

  • Capital Tiger Bay Club

    • Charter Member, 1974-Present

    • Board of Directors, 1976-78

    • Cosmos Club

  • WFSU-TV

    • Advisory Board, 1976-91

    • Chairman, 1978-80

  • Florida Economic Club (Charter Member)

  • Governor's Club (Charter Member)

 

Publications (in last 15 years):

  • "Tax Consideration of Litigation, Civil Practice Before Trial, The Florida Bar, 5th Edition, 1995, 7th Edition 2004

  • Florida Sales Tax Manual, National Business Institute (Contributing Author, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1995, 1997, 1998)

  • Cutting Edge Florida Sales and Use Tax Issues, Lorman Educational Services (Contributing Author, 1995)

  • Florida State and Local Taxes, The Florida Bar, 1984, 1986, 1988, 1990 (Editorial Coordinator and Contributing Author)

  • "Dividends & Redemptions," Florida Basic Corp. Manual, 1977, and Florida Corporate Practice, 1986-2008, The Florida Bar

 

Listings, Ratings, and Designations:

  • Director, Florida Council of Property Tax Lawyers

  • Certified Member of the Institute ("CMI"), Institute for Professionals in Taxation

  • Martindale Hubbell

    • AV Rating

    • Phipps & Howell is listed as "Preeminent" in the field of tax law

  • Leading American Attorneys: Florida Network - Business Tax Law

  • Marquis Who's Who:

    • Who's Who in America

    • Who's Who in American Law

LITIGATION:

The Phipps Firm Tax Practice has a long and distinguished history in virtually every type of state tax controversy before administrative agencies, and in courts. The firm has more reported cases at the appellate level, including the Florida Supreme Court, than any other state and local tax law firm in Florida. The following is a list of the appellate tax cases that Ben Phipps has personally briefed and argued since 1990, when the Westlaw database was created:

  • Countryside Country Club, Inc. v. Smith, 573 So.2d 14 (2DCA 1990)

  • Capital City Country Club, Inc. v. Tucker, 580 So.2d 789 (lDCA 1991)

  • Sarasota-Manatee Airport Authority v. Mikos, 605 So.2d 132 (2DCA 1992)

  • Florida League o/Cities v. Smith, 607 So.2d 397 (Fla. 1992)

  • Capital City Country Club v. Tucker, 613 So.2d 448 (Fla. 1993)

  • Fed. Sav. & Loan Ins. Corp. v. Falls Chase Spec. Taxing Dist., 983 F.2d 211 (11th Cir. 1993)

  • City of Fernandina Beach v. Page, 682 So.2d 573 (1DCA 1996)

  • Canaveral Port Authority v. Department of Revenue, 690 So.2d 1226 (Fla. 1996)

  • Page v. City o/Fernandina Beach, 714 So.2d 1070 (lDCA 1998)

  • Havill v. Lake Port Properties, Inc., 729 So.2d 467 (5DCA 1999)

  • Turner v. Tokai Financial Services, Inc., 767 So.2d 494 (2DCA 2000)

  • Fairhaven South, Inc. v. McIntyre, 793 So.2d 110 (2DCA 2001)

  • Fuchs v. Robbins, 818 So.2d 460 (Fla. 2002)

  • Nikolits v. Runway 5-23 Hangar Condominium Ass 'n, Inc., 847 So.2d 1054 (4DCA 2003)

  • Ward v. Brown, 894 So.2d 811 (Fla. 2004)

  • Hamilton v. Correctional Privatization Com'n., 895 So.2d 409 (1DCA 2005)

  • Ward v. Brown, 919 So.2d 462 (1DCA 2005)

  • Sunset Harbor Condominium Ass 'n v. Robbins, 914 So.2d 925 (Fla. 2005)

  • Fla. Dept. of Management Srvs. v. Cason ex rei. Columbia Co., 909 So.2d 378 (1DCA 2005)

  • Burklow & Associates, Inc. v. Brown, 931 So.2d 218 (lDCA 2006)

  • Cason v. Florida Department of Management Services, 944 So.2d 306 (Fla. 2006)

  • Ottinger v. Department of Management Services, 975 So.2d 1139 (1DCA 2008)

  • Nolte v. Paris Air, Inc., 975 So.2d 627 (4DCA 2008)

  • Nolte v. City of Vero Beach, 975 So.2d 627 (4DCA 2008)

  • Carabelle Properties Ltd., v. Pendleton, 10 So.2d 1118 ( 1DCA 2009)

  • Value Adjustment Board of Bay County v. Zane Spitzer, 27 So.3d 116 (1DCA 2009)

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