Bob Gordon’s practice includes federal, state and local taxation, tax controversies, trial and appellate litigation, property taxation of commercial, industrial, utility, telecommunications and special use manufacturing properties, and property tax exemptions. He has successfully argued three landmark tax cases in the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Nankin v. Village of Shorewood, which upheld the constitutional right of all Wisconsin property owners to challenge their tax assessments in court; Metropolitan Associates v. City of Milwaukee, which held that legislation limiting taxpayer appeal rights enacted after the Nankin decision was also unconstitutional; and Deutsches Land, Inc. v. City of Glendale, which established the rules under which nonprofit organizations in Wisconsin can obtain property tax exemptions. He is a former Chair of the Taxation Section of the State Bar of Wisconsin.
Bob is the designated Wisconsin representative of American Property Tax Counsel, the national affiliation of preeminent property tax law firms in the United States and Canada. Hansen Reynolds is the sole Wisconsin member of American Property Tax Counsel.
Upon graduation from law school Bob received an appointment under the Attorney General’s Honor Law Graduate Program, to the United States Department of Justice in Washington, D.C. He served for several years as a trial attorney in the Department of Justice Tax Division, where he litigated numerous cases of national significance in courts throughout the United States. He also served as a judicial intern for the Honorable James E. Doyle of the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.
Bob has been recognized every year since 2008 in The Best Lawyers in America©, and in 2015, 2018, 2021, and 2023 The Best Lawyers in America© recognized Bob as its “Lawyer of the Year” for Tax Litigation and Controversy in Milwaukee.
Nankin v. Village of Shorewood, 2001 WI 92, 245 Wis. 2d 86, 630 N.W.2d 141. Equal protection constitutional challenge in which the Wisconsin Supreme Court struck down a statutory provision which prevented property owners in Milwaukee County from challenging their assessments in circuit court, and held that all Wisconsin property owners are entitled to the same appeal rights.
Metropolitan Associates v. City of Milwaukee, 2011 WI 20, 332 Wis. 2d 85, 796 N.W.2d 717. Equal protection case in which the Wisconsin Supreme Court held that legislation limiting taxpayer appeal rights which was enacted after the Nankin decision was unconstitutional.
Deutsches Land, Inc. v. City of Glendale, 225 Wis. 2d 70, 591 N.W.2d 583 (1999). Wisconsin Supreme Court case in which the court set the legal and evidentiary standards for benevolent and other nonprofit organizations to establish their right to a property tax exemption.
Blue Cross and Blue Shield United of Wisconsin and Subsidiaries v. United States, 71 Fed. Cl. 641 (2006). Trial before United States Court of Federal Claims following which the court refused to permit the Internal Revenue Service to change the meaning of a settlement agreement with an insurance company.
U.S. Bank National Association v. City of Milwaukee, No. 02-CV-7447 (Milw. Co. Oct. 4, 2007). Trial before the Milwaukee County Circuit Court, following which the court found that branch bank safe deposit boxes had no market value, and ordered a $400,000 tax refund.
North Hills Country Club v. Village of Menomonee Falls, No. 06-CV-1552 (Waukesha Co., Jul. 26, 2007). Trial before the Waukesha County Circuit Court, following which the court upheld the taxpayer’s challenge to the assessment of a private golf and country club facility, and reduced the assessment by approximately $2.5 million.
U.S. Bank National Association v. City of Milwaukee, 2003 WI App 220, 267 Wis. 2d 718, 672 N.W.2d 492. Case in which the Wisconsin Court of Appeals rejected the City of Milwaukee’s claim that it was not subject to the Supreme Court decision in the Nankin case above.
Hormel Foods Corp. v. Wisconsin Department of Revenue, 2004 WL 717354 (Wisconsin Tax Appeals Commission.) Successful challenge to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s assessment of a large food processing plant.
Meridian Eau Claire LLC v. Wisconsin Department of Revenue, 2005 WL 2178776 (Wisconsin Tax Appeals Commission.) Successful challenge to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue’s assessment of a large manufacturing facility.
Friendship Village of Greater Milwaukee, Inc. v. City of Milwaukee, 181 Wis. 2d 207, 511 N.W.2d 345 (Ct. App. 1993). Case in which the Wisconsin Court of Appeals held that a benevolent retirement facility was entitled to a property tax exemption.