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State & Local Tax

Vinson & Elkins’ State & Local Tax lawyers provide a wide spectrum of services for clients seeking to minimize their state and local tax liabilities in a variety of scenarios — from planning and structuring business transactions to advising and advocating on tax controversies, both administratively and in the Texas courts. We have substantial experience in matters involving virtually all types of taxes collected by the state of Texas and local tax jurisdictions, including the Texas franchise (margin) tax, sales and use tax, property tax, oil and gas production tax, among others.

Our lawyers have decades of experience representing clients in a broad range of industries, including energy, retail, technology, entertainment, and health care, as well as nonprofits. We continually monitor state tax legislation, and work with Texas legislative bodies that enact statutes and ordinances, and regulatory agencies interpreting the laws on behalf of our clients.


When companies are facing tax controversies and disputes, our goal is to resolve matters as early as possible and in a manner that achieves the economic objectives of our clients. Collaborating with the firm’s Corporate and Litigation practices, we are equipped to manage all aspects of tax audits, pursue and negotiate administrative appeals, and litigate unresolved tax issues in district and appellate courts when necessary. This depth of experience enables us to develop cohesive and strategic solutions at any stage of the tax controversy cycle.


Complementing our Controversy practice are our planning and transactional capabilities. V&E’s Tax lawyers are adept at examining transactions and restructuring alternatives to benefit a client’s tax situation. Whether navigating the impact of state and local fiscal policies on Texas assets or teaming with local counsel and CPA firms regarding the tax consequences of non-Texas assets, clients rely on our keen understanding of tax laws to develop tax-efficient strategies.

Experience Highlights

  • Houston Ship Channel area industrial clients in connection with the negotiation and approval by the Houston mayor and city council of industrial district agreements in lieu of annexation

  • A major non-profit hospital in litigation holding that the Texas sales tax exemption could be retroactively claimed for periods prior to issuance by the Internal Revenue Service of the federal tax exemption on which the sales tax exemption was based; the Court’s holding invalidated a comptroller’s administrative rule that prohibited retroactive operation of the sales tax exemption

  • Obtained dismissal within six months of filing in a case of first impression regarding the asserted imposition of city franchise fees against transmission pipelines, thereby defeating the city’s claim

  • A multinational oil company in obtaining the first tax abatement in Harris County involving leased office space and developing the prototype agreement for leased office tax abatements

  • A major electric utility in obtaining the first tax limitation in Texas for nuclear electric power generation facilities after previously representing the utility in connection with the drafting and passage of legislation extending the Texas Economic Development Act to nuclear electric power generating facilities

  • A major petrochemical company in obtaining tax abatement in connection with a refinery expansion program involving investment in excess of $750 million; during its ten-year term, the abatement will result in anticipated tax savings to the company in excess of $20 million

  • Successful resolution of litigation overturning the Texas Comptroller’s policy regarding the taxation of newspapers

  • Statewide coalition of professional service firms in connection with the extension of the Texas franchise tax to partnerships; also served as chair of coalition