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Notable Cases of Record

Mr. Severson's substantial experience lends valuable insight in evaluating taxes and fees, considering tax planning options, and developing litigation strategies.

His litigation experience include the following cases of public record:

  • Crystal Chalets & Silver Skis Condominiums v. Pierce County (King County Superior Court). Achieved substantial assessment reductions for condominiums located on tax exempt land.

  • Women's University Club v. King County Assessor (Washington Board of Tax Appeals). Achieved settlement that substantially reduced clubhouse value to reflect historic property designation.

  • Stimson Lane v. Benton County (Washington Board of Tax Appeals). Successful tax appeal that removed the taxpayer's wine barrels from the tax rolls and obtained three years of refunds.

  • Carrillo, et al. v. City of Ocean Shores (Washington Court of Appeals, Div. II). Successful class action challenge to water and sewer availability charges. Obtained substantial refunds for property owners.

  • The Boeing Company v. Gelman (Washington Court of Appeals, Div. II). Successful challenge to Board of Tax Appeal's unlawful decision-making process.

  • Harbour Village Apartments v. City of Mukilteo (Washington Supreme Court). Successful class action challenge to constitutionality of Mukilteo's apartment tax. Court ruled the tax unconstitutional and ordered refunds.

  • United States Tobacco v. Department of Revenue (Washington Supreme Court). Challenge to Department of Revenue's measure of tobacco excise tax on smokeless tobacco products.

  • Belas v. Kiga (Washington Supreme Court). Represented the Washington Association of County Officials challenging the "value averaging" feature of Referendum 47. The Court ruled that "value averaging" violated the tax uniformity clause of the state constitution.

  • Covell v. City of Seattle (Washington Supreme Court). Class action challenge to constitutionality of Seattle's "Street Utility Charge" on residential housing. The court ruled charge unconstitutional and ordered refunds.

  • Inter Island Telephone Co. v. San Juan County (Washington Supreme Court). Successfully obtained equalization relief for local public utility, the first such ratio equalization relief granted in Washington in several decades. Valuation reductions ranged from 22% to 34%.

  • King County v. City of Algona (Washington Supreme Court). Successfully resisted the City of Algona's excise tax on solid waste fees collected at King County's waste transfer station located within Algona city limits.

  • Burlington Northern v. Johnston (Washington Supreme Court). Lead attorney on brief for eight counties in landmark tax uniformity case. Overturned the Department of Revenue's assessment and equalization procedures for utilities and railroads.

  • Hoppe v. King County (Board of Tax Appeals). Successfully resisted county assessor's challenge to the county council's tax levy authority and established clear limits on the discretionary authority of county assessors.

  • Boeing v. Hoppe (Washington Supreme Court). Successfully defended the county assessor's valuation of taxpayer's machinery and equipment in King County.

  • Arborwood Idaho LLC v. City of Kennewick (Washington Supreme Court). Challenge to municipal fee imposed on residential housing. Provided amicus curiae brief on behalf of Rental Housing Association of Puget Sound.

  • Samis Land Co. v. City of Soap Lake (Washington Supreme Court). Represented amicus curiae property owners in supporting successful challenge to illegal municipal water and sewer fees.

  • Leonard v. City of Spokane (Washington Supreme Court). Successfully represented amici curiae PEMCO Insurance Co., Washington Education Association and Seattle Federation of Community Councils in challenge to Tax Increment Financing law ("TIF"). The Court agreed that TIF was an unconstitutional diversion of state school funds.
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