Barclay Damon
Barclay Damon

Debra 
     Sullivan

Debra Sullivan

Partner

p: 315.413.7122

f: 315.703.7375

icon_email debra.sullivan@barclaydamon.com
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Syracuse Office

Barclay Damon Tower
125 East Jefferson Street
Syracuse, New York 13202

Debra offers over 20 years of experience representing developers, property owners, and taxing authorities in property-valuation disputes before boards of assessment review and state supreme and appellate courts. She primarily concentrates her practice on matters involving administrative assessment challenges, Real Property Tax Law Article 7 proceedings, eligibility for real-property-tax exemptions, and eminent-domain concerns.

Debra additionally has extensive experience representing energy clients in matters involving the valuation and assessment of energy assets and infrastructure for real-property-tax purposes and related litigation. Debra handles issues involving hydroelectric, biomass, wind, and fossil-fuel electric generation; electric-transmission and distribution facilities; and supporting infrastructure such as substations. She also represents clients in eminent-domain proceedings that involve the siting of electric-transmission facilities.

Debra represents clients that include developers and owners of apartment complexes, condominium properties, golf courses, manufacturing and warehouse properties, office buildings, retail plazas, and shopping malls.

Representative Experience

  • Represents a client in real property tax assessment review proceedings involving the valuation of a 322MW wind farm.
  • Secured a real property tax exemption for a not-for-profit entity, saving the owner $400,000 annually in real-property taxes.
  • Obtained summary judgment under the provisions of RPTL 581-a for an owner of an affordable-housing complex.
  • Negotiated numerous settlements of real property tax assessment disputes involving significant refunds.
  • Defended municipalities in tax assessment review proceedings involving state-owned land, hydroelectric facilities, shopping centers, and various commercial properties.
  • Represented multiple clients in real property tax assessment review proceedings involving the valuation of hydroelectric facilities located on three river systems.
  • Served as counsel to numerous clients in real property tax assessment review proceedings involving the valuation of electric transmission and distribution facilities, including substations.
  • Represented a client in real property tax assessment review proceedings involving exemption and valuation issues on a 600MW coal-fired steam station.
  • Served as counsel to a client in real property tax-assessment review proceedings involving the valuation of a 60MW biomass-cogeneration facility.
  • Represented condemnors and claimants in eminent domain proceedings related to electric-transmission property.
  • Represented a client in connection with valuation issues related to a 39.5MW waste-to-energy cogeneration facility.

Practice Areas

Education

  • Vanderbilt Law School, J.D., Vanderbilt Law Review, Editor
  • Colleges of William & Mary, B.A., Phi Beta Kappa

Admitted To Practice

  • New York

Memberships & Affiliations

  • New York State Bar Association
  • Barclay Damon’s Women’s Forum

Civic Activities

  • Christian Brothers Academy, Mock Trial Coach

Speaking & Publications

  • New York State Bar Association, “Real Property Tax Assessment Litigation and Appeals” CLE
  • Oswego County Bar Association, “The Nuts and Bolts of Real Property Tax Assessment Challenges” CLE
  • Syracuse University College of Law, “Practical Aspects of the Law of Eminent Domain”
  • New York State Real Property Tax System Alliance, “Understanding Real Property Tax Assessment Review Proceedings in NYS: A Primer for Municipal Officials”
  • IAO Journal, “The 1995 Amendments to the Real Property Tax Law”
  • IAO Journal, “Utility Companies Challenge Local Assessments”
  • The Monthly Digest of Tax Articles, “The 1988 Amendment to 26 USC Section 7430: Expanding Taxpayers’ Rights to Recover Costs in Tax Controversies”

Prior Experience

  • Menter, Rudin & Trivelpiece, P.C., Counsel
  • Sidney Devorsetz, PLLC
  • Hancock & Estabrook, LLP