McLane Attorneys Prevail on Behalf of Verizon

November 29, 2006. Manchester, NH — McLane attorneys Jack Middleton and Scott Harris recently assisted communications giant Verizon New England, Inc. against the City of Rochester in a tax abatement case involving the company’s use of public rights of way, dating back to 1996.

The question was whether the City of Rochester had singled out Verizon for unfair taxation among other utilities—electric, cable television and gas companies– who shared the use or occupation of the same corridor. Persuaded by McLane’s argument, Judge Robert E.K. Morrill found the City’s action to be “both contrary to statute and discriminatory.”

Since the NH Supreme Court previously held that the use of the public ways is taxable, then the court faced the issue of valuation. Harris and Middleton successfully convinced the Court that the taxable interest on the market value of the land that any one private party could be said to occupy was $218,700, not the city’s assessment of $6.5 million.

The decision is a decisive victory for Verizon and all of its customers in Rochester and ten other communities with similar cases being considered.

About the McLane Law Firm
McLane, Graf, Raulerson & Middleton Professional Association was founded in 1919 and is the largest, most diverse law firm in New Hampshire. With over seventy-five attorneys and more than twenty-five legal assistants practicing out of offices in Manchester, Concord, Portsmouth, and Nashua, New Hampshire, the firm provides comprehensive, interdisciplinary legal advice on the broad range of issues facing institutions, businesses and individuals today.